By David Travis Bland The State
FLORENCE, SC — After more than two weeks in the hospital following the Florence police shooting, two deputies are out of the hospital and headed towards recovery.
A spokesperson for the Florence County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the officers’ release with The State.
Deputies Sarah Miller and Arie Davis left the hospital Friday to the cheers and claps of law enforcements and citizens, according to a video posted by one social media user. As they left, assisted by medical staff, they were covered with the black and blue striped flag representing law enforcement. The two held hands as they left.
“Happy doesn’t begin to describe the emotions we are feeling right now,” the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday after its deputies’ release.
“We remain deeply humbled by the outpouring of support from our community, the state and all around the country for all of these wounded,” said Michael Nunn, spokesperson for Florence County Sheriff’s Office. “The release of Arie and Sarah from the hospital is a huge step forward on a long road to recovery, and we will be with them every step of the way.”
The two were shot on Oct. 3 while serving a warrant to a man who police say molested a child. The incident shocked South Carolina, and the nation reeled as the details of the worst police shooting in recent history came to light.
Fred Hopkins Jr., 74 and the father of the man accused of sexually abusing children, opened fire on the three deputies in what Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott described as an “ambush.” As other law enforcement responded, Hopkins fired 39 shots from three guns, wounding six officers and killing one, in a two-hour-long standoff. Hopkins and his son were arrested.
Officer Terrence Carraway of the Florence Police Department was killed in the incident.
Hopkins faces a murder charge and six counts of attempted murder. His son has been accused of molesting two minors. In an unexpected twist, Hopkins has two other sons with law enforcement ties. One son is a police officer and the other a retired deputy.
The father of Davis told Tonya Brown of WPDE that his daughter’s leg was severely wounded during the shooting. Doctors initially told them the deputy’s leg would have to be amputated. They were able to save her leg in the end.
Another deputy who was shot, Farrah Turner, is still in critical condition, according to the Florence sheriff’s office.
“Please continue to pray for Farrah,” Nunn said.
Officer Scott Williamson of the Florence Police Department is also still hospitalized.