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Florence County, South Carolina, shooting of police officers: what we know

A suspect is in custody and officials say the area is now safe.

A police line. Larry W. Smith/Getty Images

As of Thursday, October 4, this article is no longer being updated. For continuing coverage on gun violence, check out Vox’s gun violence section.

A shooter on Wednesday shot seven police officers in a residential neighborhood in Florence County, South Carolina, killing at least one, according to local officials.

“This area is safe. The suspect is in custody,” Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone told reporters at a press conference Wednesday night.

Three Florence County sheriff’s deputies and three other Florence police officers who were shot were all receiving medical attention, according to Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler. Authorities said that the officer who died was from the Florence Police Department.

President Donald Trump offered his “thoughts and prayers” to the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department on Wednesday night. “We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The story is still developing. Here’s what we know, and don’t, so far.

What we know

  • Shortly before 5 pm local time, Florence County Emergency Management tweeted about “an active shooter incident in progress at this time,” telling the public to stay away from Vintage Place, a residential area, in Florence. The shooting ended by around 6 pm, although Florence County Emergency Management continued to advise the public to stay away from the area where the shooting occurred.
  • Three Florence County sheriff’s deputies and four Florence police officers were shot.
  • One of the officers died: Terrence Carraway, who had been with the Florence Police Department for more than 30 years, according to the New York Times. The rest are receiving medical attention.
A map of Florence, South Carolina, where five police officers were reportedly shot by an active shooter on Wednesday, October 3. Javier Zarracina/Vox
  • A suspect is in custody after reportedly surrendering to police, according to Florence County Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby. He was identified as 74-year-old Fred Hopkins, the Times reported, and “was not believed to be the subject of the warrant.” Hopkins is a disbarred lawyer with a record of minor charges against him, according to the Associated Press.
  • The officers were reportedly serving a search warrant on a 27-year-old at the home in Vintage Place when Hopkins allegedly opened fire. “His view of fire was several hundred yards, so he had an advantage,” Sheriff Boone told reporters. When deputies arrived, Boone said, the “gunfire started.” The shooting began at around 4 pm.
  • Special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) are on the scene to help with the investigation.
  • There have been at least 274 other mass shootings in the US in 2018, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The organization defines mass shootings as events in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed in a similar time and place.
  • Florence County has a population of more than 138,000 people, according to the US Census Bureau.

What we don’t know

  • All the victims’ identities