FLORENCE, S.C. – A lawsuit has been filed against the Florence man accused of killing two police officers and injuring five more.
Columbia attorney James George filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Florence police officer Scott Williamson and his wife, Julie, against Frederick Hopkins, his wife, Cheryl, their son, Seth, and the trust in which their 932 Ashton Drive home is held.
The complaint alleges that Cheryl and Seth Hopkins were negligent individually, that Cheryl and the trust were also negligent and that Frederick Hopkins assaulted and battered Scott Williamson.
Julie Williamson alleges that Scott’s injuries caused her a loss of consortium.
In specific, the Williamsons allege that Cheryl Hopkins was negligent because she owned and kept unsecured guns in her home and that she had a history of allowing unauthorized access to the weapons including unauthorized access by children.
The Williamsons add that Cheryl Hopkins knew Frederick had violent tendencies, that he had assaulted a governmental employee for attempting to take a picture of an ordinance violation in 2013, that he had threatened one of their children with gun violence, that Frederick Hopkins suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome, and that she did not let the police know about either the firearms or her husband’s problems.
The allegations made against the trust and its trustees are similar to the allegations made against Cheryl Hopkins.
The Williamsons allege that Seth Hopkins was negligent because he sexually assaulted a minor, that he knew his actions would cause the police to visit the residence and that Seth knew or should have known that Frederick would react violently.
“In an effort to protect Seth Hopkins from criminal prosecution for his sexual assault against minor children, ... Frederick Hopkins fired upon police officers ..,” the Williamsons say in the complaint.
The Williamsons allege that Frederick Hopkins attempted to use force, a bullet, to injure and threaten harm to Scott Williamson. They say early in the suit that Williamson received “a gunshot wound to the head,” was involved in a car collision, and suffered lacerations.
The complaint and accompanying summons were filed Thursday in the Florence County Court of Common Pleas and the defendants have not yet had an opportunity to respond to the allegations.