FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Tuesday marks five years since an officer ambush in a Florence neighborhood took the lives of two law enforcement officers.
Florence Police Department Sgt. Terrence Carraway and Florence County Sheriff’s Office investigator Farrah Turner were both killed.
Five others were also hurt in the shooting.
The Florence County Sheriff’s Office held a luncheon on Tuesday to honor their memory.
Law enforcement from across the country joined together to honor Carraway and Turner, but some say they’re still waiting for the trial to gain closure.
According to police, five years ago on Tuesday, officers went to the home of disbarred lawyer, Fred Hopkins, to interview his son, Seth, about alleged sex crimes against a child.
When they arrived, Fred Hopkins allegedly started shooting at them — taking the lives of Turner and Carraway.
“What it did is just created a stronger bond on us when we realized we had to come together for our fellow man, for our fellow brother,” said Stephen Starling, a spokesperson for Florence police. “Whether it was going to be in the department or not, or an outside agency, or if it was just another person.”
Law enforcement who worked alongside Carraway and Turner said they will be remembered for their passion for helping juveniles, an act they carried out until their deaths.
Fred Hopkins’ trial is set to start in February.
“Some people need that as closure. I believe other people are coping in their different ways,” Starling said. “Some people have been able to move on. Some people don’t really like to think about this day. But I think for most of us, it’s hard to speak for everybody in the department because everybody does deal with tragedy different.”
Sheriff TJ Joye, Mayor Teresa Myers-Ervin and members of Turner’s family also spoke during the luncheon. Turner’s family said Tuesday should be a “heroes day” instead of a day of sadness.
“It’s a difficult day. Just to remember what we went through and the anxiety that it caused and things like that,” Starling said. “But at the end of the day, I think it’s a proud day because it shows what we in law enforcement are capable of. And what the men and women that stand beside us every day are willing to do to sacrifice for the community.”
Hopkins faces two counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
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Aundrea Gibbons joined the News13 team in May 2023 after graduating from Clemson University with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and communication. Aundrea is a Marion native and graduated as salutatorian in 2019. Follow Aundrea on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of her work here.