7 officers shot, 1 dead; suspect in custody

USA TODAY

Published 9:44 PM EDT Oct 3, 2018

7 officers shot, 1 dead; suspect in custody

Seven law enforcement officers were shot, one fatally, in Florence County, South Carolina, authorities said Wednesday night.

Local media reports said the shooting may have escalated from a domestic violence situation Wednesday night. Officers responded to an active shooting in Vintage Place, an upscale residential subdivision, Florence County Emergency Management tweeted.

A suspect was in custody, authorities said.

Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken said the dead officer was a member of the city police department. Three Florence County sheriff’s deputies were shot, said Public Information Officer Major Michael Nunn, and four city officers were shot, said Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler.  

"This is a hard and difficult day for us," Nunn said. "We don't have all the details at this time as the incident has just concluded."

Officials have not released the names of the officers.

At approximately 4 p.m., investigators from sheriff’s office attempted to serve a search warrant when the suspect inside the Vintage Place home opened fire, Nunn said.

Nunn said officers from the city police department responded to assist. The subject remained barricaded in the residence with children and the standoff lasted about two hours. With a bullet-resistant rescue vehicle, the wounded officers were evacuated and transported to a hospital. 

"This is simply devastating news from Florence. The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real, just like the power of prayer is real," South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted.

At 8:03 p.m. Eastern, President Donald Trump also extended "thoughts and prayers" via Twitter and added, "We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365."

Florence, a city in South Carolina’s northeastern corner home to roughly 37,000, sits at the convergence of Interstates 95 and 20. It’s the largest city in the region known as the Pee Dee, an area recently affected by heavy flooding in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted that he was "heartbroken" over the shooting and added, "God bless those who choose to protect us and their families. We are keeping them in our prayers."

Contributing: Associated Press

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