More than 400 shell casings found at Florence shooting crime scene; four officers remain hospitalized

More than 400 shell casings found at Florence shooting crime scene; four officers remain hospitalize

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The crime scene of the mass shooting that killed Florence police officer Terrence Carraway and injured six other officers has been completely processed according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Lott said that this is the largest crime scene his department has seen; requiring a lot of man power to secure.

The Sheriff expressed his gratitude to the nine agencies that assisted, those agencies are: Columbia Police Department, Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington County Police Department, Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Sumter Police Department and the University of SC Department of Law Enforcement.

Lott said that processing the scene and the collection of evidence has been a joint effort between the FBI Evidence Response Team and RCSD’s Crime Scene Unit . He went on to say that together they methodically photographed, collected and mapped the trajectory of each round outside as well as completely processed the inside of the residence.

Over 390 shell casings were collected from the exterior and approximately 39 shell casings were recovered from the interior of the residence. It is believed three different weapons were used by the suspect; analysis is being done to confirm this. More than 126 additional guns were collected from the home.

RCSD’s Major Crimes Unit is interviewing over a dozen law enforcement personnel who were involved in the incident from the Florence County Sheriff’s Department, Florence Police Department and Highway Patrol; however, discussions about the incident with those still in the hospital are pending. In addition, multiple witnesses and residents of the area along with law enforcement personnel who also responded to the scene will be interviewed in efforts to get a complete and accurate account of the incident.

The individuals who were in the residence during the shooting are also being interviewed, besides Frederick and Seth Hopkins, there were one adult and two minor children.

Lott asks for your continued prayers for the four officers who remain hospitalized nearly two weeks after the shooting.

There are three Florence County deputies still in the hospital, two remain in critical condition while the other one has been updated to stable condition. The City of Florence police officer has been transferred to a facility in Georgia.

Lott further stated the Sheriff and Chief of Florence continue to care for their people while moving forward. We are working closely the 12th Circuit Solicitor, Ed Clements, keeping him abreast of the progress in the investigation. He also thanked the community for the support and patience they have demonstrated during this difficult time.

Earlier on Tuesday, the man authorities say opened fire on several Florence County law enforcement officers, killing one and injuring six, made a request for a public defender.

According to information from the public index, Frederick Hopkins filed a request for a public defender on Oct. 12. At a hearing on Tuesday, that request was denied, according to officials.

The 74-year-old Hopkins is charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder in connection with the Oct. 3 shooting.

According to authorities, deputies were executing a search warrant for Seth Hopkins in relation to an alleged sexual assault of a minor who was a child in the home at the time the shooting occurred.

Copyright 2018 WMBF. All rights reserved.