Seven law enforcement officers were shot in Florence, S. C., Wednesday evening, city police and sheriff’s officials said. One of the police officers has died. A city spokesman identified him as Officer Terrence Carraway.
The conditions of the other officers were not available.
The shooting occurred just outside Florence, a city two hours north of Charleston.
At an emotional press conference, authorities said they didn’t have all the details. Major Michael Nunn with the sheriff’s office said around 4 p.m., Florence county sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve a search warrant at a residence and a someone inside opened fire on them.
That’s when officers from the police department got involved. “The suspect continued to fire on other officers who responded to the scene to render aid to the wounded,” Nunn said.
“Fire was being shot all over,” Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said. “The way the suspect was positioned, his view of fire was several hundred yards so he had an advantage and the officers couldn’t get to the ones that were down.”
The standoff lasted approximately two hours. The subject was barricaded in the residence with children, authorities told reporters.
Police Chief Allen Heidler said that the children were now in a safe place.
He added, “Today will mark a very horrific day in the annals of the Florence police department.” Four police officers and three sheriff deputies were shot, Heidler said.
He said the officer who died had been his friend for 30 years and was “the bravest police officer that I have ever known.”
Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office also said that a 20-year-old man in the home was wounded, according to WBTW.
Eventually, the wounded officers were evacuated with the help of a bullet-resistant rescue vehicle and taken to nearby hospitals.
The sheriff’s office and police department’s tactical team got the suspect out.
He surrendered after speaking with a negotiator, according to WBTW. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
“The active shooting situation is over and the suspect is in custody,” the Florence County Emergency Management department said Wednesday evening on Twitter.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s office said it would be sending deputies to Florence to support the community and law enforcement operations.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., took to Twitter to write, “Prayers with injured officers in Florence and their families.”
“This is simply devastating news from Florence,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. He encouraged people to pray for their recovery.
President Trump also commented on Twitter, saying, “My thoughts and prayers are with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department tonight, in South Carolina. We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365.”