2nd police officer dies after South Carolina ambush attack
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A wounded police officer died Monday following 19 days in the hospital and multiple surgeries, after she was ambushed while approaching an upscale South Carolina home to question a man in a child sex assault case.
Florence County Sheriff’s Investigator Farrah Turner was one of seven officers shot on Oct. 3. A police officer from the city of Florence was killed that day. Five others are recovering.
Turner’s death triggered another wave of grief over the shooting. The first three officers were shot coming to the door, and four more were wounded trying to rescue their comrades from a gunman who fired so methodically and precisely that rescuers had to use an armored truck to rescue the injured, authorities said.
“Farrah was the ultimate professional, excelling at everything she did. She dedicated her life to serving the victims of the worst crimes imaginable,” Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said in a statement announcing her death Monday.
Turner died the same day her mother released a statement, asking for donations for her care on the Go Fund Me website. Turner’s mother, Katie Godwin, said her daughter had to have both of her feet amputated a week earlier and had endured nine operations.
“God bless each of you and please continue to pray for Farrah. #fightfarrahfight,” her mother wrote.
Turner’s funeral will be at noon Sunday at the civic center in Florence, Boone said.
Frederick Hopkins, 74, now faces a murder charge in Turner’s death, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said. Previously he was charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder.
Turner is only the second female law enforcement officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in South Carolina. Aiken Public Safety officer Sandy Rogers was killed in January 2012 checking on a suspicious vehicle.
This is the first time two officers have been killed in South Carolina since Moncks Corner officers Marcus Stiles and Lonnie Wells were slain in March 2007 while checking an address where a suspect in a domestic violence complaint lived.
Turner and two other female deputies came to Hopkins’ Florence County home on Oct. 3 for a prearranged interview with his son about the possible sexual assault of a child. The officers also had a search warrant that said the underwear of a minor child who had been assaulted might be found in the son’s bedroom.
Turner, along with Deputy Arie Davis and Investigator Sarah Miller, were ambushed before they could enter the home, said Lott, who is leading the investigation.
Davis and Miller left a Florence hospital for a rehabilitation center last week holding hands as hundreds of people cheered.
After the deputies were wounded, officers fired nearly 400 shots at Hopkins’ home. He fired around 40 shots back. He wounded four city of Florence police officers who rushed to help. Sgt. Terrence Carraway died that day. Two officers, Brian Hart and Travis Scott suffered minor wounds. Officer Scott Williamson is also at a rehabilitation center.
Frederick Hopkins, a Vietnam veteran who won awards for marksmanship during 11 years in the U.S. Army, set up the ambush at his home at the end of a cul-de-sac with a clear view of the only road up for several blocks, said Lott, who called the scene inside “chilling” at a news conference last week, but did not elaborate.
Hopkins fired three guns in the ambush and had nearly 130 weapons in his home, Lott said.
All the guns appeared to have been obtained legally, the sheriff said.
Authorities have not said how they captured Hopkins, who appeared injured in his mugshot.
Hopkins’ 28-year-old son, Seth Hopkins, has been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor against two different girls. An arrest warrant said one of the girls was younger than 11 when the abuse happened nearly 10 years ago. The other girl, who was between 11 and 14, was abused in the past year, a warrant said.
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