South Carolina

Son of alleged Florence County shooter charged with assaulting second minor, deputies say

More than a week after several law enforcement officers got into a deadly shootout while trying to interview a Florence County suspect, the man they were initially investigating has been charged a second time, according to a statement from investigating agency the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

Seth David Hopkins, 28, was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to the statement.

Deputies with the Florence County Sheriff’s Department were arriving for an arranged interview with Hopkins and to search the home when his adopted father, Fred Hopkins, Jr., opened fire on Oct. 3. Seth Hopkins was the suspect in a criminal sexual assault case, in which a minor was involved.

In what authorities are calling an ambush, the elder Hopkins began an intense, two-hour shoot out with officers, killing one — 30-year police veteran Sgt. Terrence Carraway.

Florence Police Shooting
A photo of Sgt. Terrence Carraway is on display before a funeral service for the fallen Florence police officer Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, at the Florence Center in Florence , S.C. Sgt. Carraway was killed in the line of duty Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro, Pool) Richard Shiro AP

After the shootout, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department was called into take over the investigation.

Seth Hopkins was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor Oct. 5, and his father was charged with murder and six counts of attempted murder.

As Richland County deputies tried to piece together what exactly happened during the shooting and events surrounding them, investigators found a second victim, according to a sheriff’s department statement. The minor was under the age of 11 when he or she was assaulted between 2009 and 2010.

Investigators and social workers described Seth Hopkins last week as a threat to children.

The Hopkins family raised nine children in the household, and Fred Hopkins was a stay-at-home dad, according to previous reports in The State. All the children were brought into the family as infants. Despite rumors, the S.C. Department of Social Services confirmed that none of the children were in foster care.

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Seth David Hopkins, 28, appears for a bond hearing Oct. 5, 2018. He is charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second degree, while his father, Fred Hopkins Jr., is charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

Investigators also gave an update on the six officers who were hospitalized after the shootout. Two of the Florence County Sheriff’s deputies remain in the hospital in critical condition, but another has been upgraded to stable condition, according to the statement. 

One Florence police officer remains in the hospital, according to the statement. The others were released last week.

Seth Hopkins was also shot during the standoff, but there was no news as to his condition. He was treated at an area hospital after the shoot-out.

More than a week after the shoot out, the investigation continues, according to the statement. The FBI and sheriff’s department’s crime scene units are working together to process the scene at the home in a upscale Florence County neighborhood.

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Law enforcement from many agencies clog Ashton Drive in Florence where Sgt. Terrence Carraway was shot and killed during a standoff in which six other police were injured on Wednesday evening. Oct. 4, 2018 Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com
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