WMBF Investigates: Suspected shooter is Vietnam veteran, disbarred lawyer

WMBF Investigates: Suspected shooter is Vietnam veteran, disbarred lawyer

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Deputies identified 74-year-old Fred Hopkins as the alleged shooter who opened fire on law enforcement officers in Florence County on Wednesday.

A look into Hopkins' past reveals he was injured during the Vietnam War, according to a South Carolina Supreme Court Case involving his ex-wife Carol Hopkins. The court documents report he received disability checks for his injury.

Hopkins is also a former South Carolina lawyer. South Carolina Bar records reveal he was disbarred in 1984, four years after being admitted. A 1984 South Carolina Supreme Court case ordered Hopkins to pay $18,000, equal to an amount he wrongfully collected while handing a tort claim and collection of insurance policies.

The case goes on to state Hopkins failed to comply with the court order. As a result, Hopkins was placed in Richland County Jail to serve six months, but the term was later suspended, according to the court documents.

Wednesday’s incident was not Hopkins first experience with law enforcement. He has faced multiple previous charges, according to public court records.

Hopkins was charged with “running at large," an offense connected with loose animals, in two cases from 2015.

In 2014, he faced a disorderly conduct charge, but the case was disposed of a few weeks later.

Hopkins resides at Ashton Drive in Florence, where one officer was killed and wounded six others Wednesday afternoon.

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