FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The roar of motorcycles can be heard across the area for the annual Fall Bike Week, but one bike club was here for a special purpose: to provide support to Sergeant Terrence Carraway’s family.
The Blue Knights Law Enforcement Club is a non-profit fraternal organization spanning 29 countries with over 19,000 members, all of whom are active and retired law enforcement officers .
While some of the Southern Regional Conference members were gathered in Charleston this past week, they quickly learned of the deadly mass shooting in Florence County on Wednesday.
“This hit home, for all of us,” DJ Alvarez, the International President for the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Club said. “It is always tough when a fellow officer is hurt in the line of duty, even more so when they lose their life. We are one big family in blue. So though we did not know Sgt. Carraway, it is like losing a family member.”
Alvarez said on Friday, the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Club conference board decided they wanted to do something to help the family of the fallen officer.
They spread the word to the other club members and then made the 100 plus mile drive to the Pee Dee on Saturday.
Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler met the brothers in blue Saturday afternoon and accepted a $2,000 check on behalf of Carraway’s widow.
“Even though I am working on my second retirement, I am still active and it hits home because these guys were just doing their job,” Alvarez said. “Things can go bad in a blink of an eye, and that’s what happened on Wednesday.”
Along with Carraway, six other officers were shot and taken to the hospital.
Alvarez said that the organization offers prayers for a quick and speedy recovery for the injured officers and condolences to the family and the police department for Carraway.
Authorities have formally charged 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins with murder and six counts of attempted murder in Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting in Florence County.
Hopkins is accused of killing Carraway and injuring six other law enforcement agents. At a hearing Friday afternoon, bond was denied for the suspect.
He was formally charged at 12 p.m. Friday with Carraway’s murder. He is currently in custody at a medical facility. Once released, he will be transported to the Richland County Detention Center, according to Richland Sheriff Leon Lott. The suspect will then be brought back to Florence County for a bond hearing.
In addition to the murder charge, Hopkins is accused of injuring the following officers:
- Officer Brian Hart of the Florence Police Department
- Officer Travis Scott of the Florence Police Department
- Officer Scott Williamson of the Florence Police Department
- Deputy Arie Davis of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office
- Investigator Sarah Miller of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office
- Investigator Farrrah Turner of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office