FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The man charged in a 2018 mass shooting of seven officers in Florence is facing yet another lawsuit against him, which he claims is a “frivolous” attempt to “extort” and “terrorize” him.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Arie Davis, one of the seven officers who was ambushed, is against Fred Hopkins, Cheryl Hopkins (who was married to Fred at the time of the shooting), their son Seth Hopkins and the trustees of the Suggs Family Revocable Trust.
The lawsuit claims wrongful death and gross negligence against Seth Hopkins, claiming he sexually assaulted a minor and knew his actions would cause police to visit his home.
The suit also claims Seth Hopkins knew that his father, Fred Hopkins, would react violently if law enforcement came to his home. It further argues that the negligence of Seth Hopkins was “a direct and proximate cause” of the shooting and “resulting injuries damages.”
The lawsuit also claims negligence against Cheryl Hopkins, saying she owned the weapons used in the attack, and knew they were in the home even though Fred Hopkins had post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The lawsuit claims wrongful death and negligence against the Suggs Family Revocable Trust, stating it controlled the trust that owned the home and knowingly allowed multiple firearms stored there without being properly secured.
In response, Fred Hopkins filed a 10-page, hand-written response, denying all charges and calling the suit a “frivolous lawsuit to extort, terrorize, defame, intimidate” each of the named people in the suit “in a vain and fruitless attempt to obtain the proverbial ‘pot-o’-gold’ muchly sought by ambulance-chasers and their greedy and feckless clientele with a rapacious hunger for filthy lucre.”
In his response, Hopkins further claims that the new lawsuit is simply plagiarism of a previous suit filed against him.
Fred Hopkins, a disbarred lawyer, is in a Columbia jail awaiting a jury trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for his alleged participation in the 2018 ambush.