Seven law enforcement officers were shot, one fatally, after a suspect opened fire on deputies attempting to serve a search warrant to a house in South Carolina on Wednesday, officials said.
From inside the home just outside of Florence, S.C., the suspect fired on the officers around 4 p.m., striking three of them, officials said. And the suspect continued to fire as officers from other departments arrived to assist. The wounded were evacuated after police drove in with an armored vehicle, while the suspect barricaded himself inside, along with an unspecified number of children.
After a standoff of about two hours, the suspect, whom officials did not identify, was arrested.
The officer who was fatally shot was from the Florence Police Department. He was not immediately identified. Police Chief Allen Heidler told reporters that he had known the officer for 30 years, calling him “the bravest police officer that I have ever known.”
Officials expressed shock and anger that violence broke out while deputies were serving a search warrant. The suspect had a vantage point of several hundred yards, officials said.
“These officers went there unknowing the firepower this suspect had,” Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone told reporters, his eyes wet. “He had an advantage. The officers couldn’t get to the ones that were down.”
The six wounded officers were receiving treatment. Their conditions were not immediately known.
The shooting occurred outside the 38,000-person city of Florence, in the northeastern part of the state. The region, known as the Pee Dee, was heavily affected by flooding from Hurricane Florence.
The state’s elected officials were joined by President Trump in expressing shock at the violence.
“This is simply devastating news from Florence,” Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted. “The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Eli Rosenberg