Man who ambushed South Carolina police had 126 guns (VIDEO)

A man accused of ambushing law enforcement in Florence, South Carolina earlier this month owned at least 126 guns, according to police.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters Tuesday investigators discovered the cache of weapons inside 74-year-old Fred Hopkins’s upscale home on the outskirts of the city during a two-week investigation into the attack that killed Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway and wounded six others, including three investigators from the Florence County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities charged Hopkins with first degree murder and six counts of attempted murder. Four officers remain hospitalized, one in critical condition, Leon said Tuesday.

“It’s chilling to see how this house was set up,” Lott said. “The officers had no chance whatsoever.”

Three Florence Police Department officers arrived at the house around 4:30 p.m. Oct. 3 for a scheduled interview with Hopkins’s adopted son, 28-year-old Seth Hopkins, regarding sexual assault allegations made against him. He said the elder Hopkins began shooting at the officers before they made it to the front door, killing Carraway.

Florence Police Department Chief Allen Heidler described 52-year-old Carraway as a 30-year veteran of the force and a close personal friend, telling reporters last week his death “is a tragic loss of life for me.”

“He was the epitome of a community police officer,” Heidler said. “He loved this community. He gave it his all.”

The Associated Press described Fred Hopkins as a disabled Vietnam War veteran and disbarred lawyer who lost his license in 1984 for wrongly collecting more than $18,000 in attorneys fees. His Facebook page also described a passion for competitive shooting, the AP reports.

Florence County Sheriff Kenny Boone said earlier this month officers responded to the call unaware of the firepower waiting inside the house. He heralded the department’s military equipment, including an armored vehicle, for helping carry the wounded officers to safety.

Lott said evidence shows Hopkins fired approximately 39 rounds while officers responded with nearly 400 shots.

Both Hopkins men remain in custody this week. Seth Hopkins faces two counts of second degree criminal sexual misconduct with a minor for allegedly abusing two underage girls as young as 11.

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