Man accused of shooting 7 police officers in South Carolina charged with murder

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Two of the six wounded officers were released from the hospital Thursday. (Richland County Jail)

Fredrick Hopkins, the man accused of shooting seven law enforcement officers in what is being described as an "ambush," has been charged with murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Hopkins is currently in custody at a medical facility and is expected to be released into the custody of the Richland County Sheriff's Department on Friday afternoon.

Major Mike Nunn, with the Florence County Sheriff's Department, said officers were serving a warrant when Hopkins began shooting, wounding three deputies. The deputies had to be removed from the crime scene using a bulletproof vehicle.

Then, four Florence police officers were shot while trying to respond to the initial gunfire, said Allen Heidler, the Florence police chief. It was one of Heidler's officers who was killed during the confrontation.

Sheriff Lott said the warrant was for Hopkins' adopted son, Seth Hopkins. He has now been charged with 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Seth Hopkins is currently in a medical facility also and will be released Friday, then transported to Richland County.

Two officers have been released from the hospital.


According to the Associated Press, Fred Hopkins posted on social media about being a competitive marksman and taking his children shooting with him.

Images captured from Frederick Hopkins' Facebook show comments he made in 2014, talking about taking his 12-year-old to a shooting range and firing an M-14 rifle "set up exactly like one I used in Viet Nam in 69-70."

"I just love the smell of gunpowder in the mornin's," he wrote in the post to commemorate his 70th birthday. The post also says he had been "shooting competitively since 1984 and lovin' it."

Other posts, from 2016, show images of rifles and say he was the "South Carolina 3-Gun Silhouette Champion for 2011."
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(Copyright ©2018 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.)