Crime & Courts

New sexual abuse charges filed against son of Florence, SC police shooting suspect

New sex crime charges were filed against the son of the accused Florence police shooter, records show.

Police charged Seth Hopkins with eight more counts of sexually-related offenses, according to Florence County court records.

Hopkins is the son of Fred Hopkins, who faces charges in the October 2018 shooting of multiple police officers. Florence County sheriff’s deputies showed up to investigate and collect evidence in a child sexual abuse case connected to Seth when his father opened fire on the officers, according to police reports.

After the shooting, Florence County sheriff’s deputies charged Seth Hopkins with two counts of sexual abuse against minors.

On Aug. 23, police filed five more counts of first degree sexual abuse of a minor against Hopkins. Court records say the victim was under 11 years old when the alleged abuse occurred.

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Police also charged Hopkins with two counts of attempting a lewd act with a victim under 16 years old and voyeurism.

On Oct. 3, 2018 police went to the Hopkins’ residence after Seth Hopkins was accused of inappropriately touching a young girl in the house. They were going to collect evidence in their investigation into Hopkins.

When the officers arrived, Seth Hopkins father, Fred Hopkins, opened fire, according to police, which started an hours-long standoff with authorities. When the shooting was done, seven officers had been hit. Florence County Sheriff’s deputy Farrah Turner and Florence Police Department officer Terrance Carraway died from their injuries.

Police charged Fred Hopkins with two counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Seth Hopkins was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct, one dealing with a minor age 11 to 14 and another for a minor under 11 years old, court records show.

Hopkins could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on any charge of first degree sexual abuse of a minor.

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David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.