‘Darlington chipped in real good’: Fest raises a fast $5,000 for officers’ families

By Bobby Bryant, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

The death toll has risen in the ambush shootings of seven law-enforcement officers in Florence Oct. 3, but so has the community’s determination to help.

On Oct. 22, Florence County Sheriff’s Office investigator Farrah Turner became the second fatality from the shootings. Nearly three weeks after she was shot, Turner died from her wounds. Funeral services were Sunday at the Florence Center.

The first fatality from the incident was veteran Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway, a Darlington resident who died soon after he was shot.

The suspect, Frederick Hopkins Jr., 74, faces two murder charges.

The Darlington area still is shaken by the shootings, says Carraway’s friend Curtis Boyd, owner of Fitness World in Darlington, where Carraway worked out. That prompted a quickly organized fundraising effort at the Darlington Sweet Potato Festival earlier this month, which raised $5,000 for the families of the seven officers who were shot.

Boyd led the fundraiser at the festival. Residents donated food, and Boyd and his friends cooked and sold hamburgers and hot dogs, along with potato chips and drinks. “It was a lot of work, but it went well,” Boyd said. “A lot of people just walked up and handed us money. . . . Darlington chipped in real good.”

The $5,000 they raised meant $715 for each of the seven officers’ families, Boyd said. Carraway’s widow, Allison, delivered the funds to the families. She is to serve as grand marshal in the Darlington Christmas parade Dec. 2, Boyd said.

The officers’ shootings were “a major tragedy,” Boyd said. “I just tell people that it’s real. These are real people who get up and go to work every day,” knowing they might not make it home.

Turner, a Lake City High School and Francis Marion University graduate, is only the second female law enforcement officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in South Carolina, The Associated Press reports.

She was head school resource officer at Brockington Elementary School, Johnson Middle School and Timmonsville High School, all in Timmonsville, and also worked at Hannah-Pamplico schools, the (Florence) Morning News reported.

“Investigator Turner was an advocate, leader and mentor,” Florence County School District 2 (Hannah-Pamplico) Superintendent Neal Vincent told the Morning News. “ . . . She served by example and was respected and admired by our students and staff.”

Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School will host a benefit concert Nov. 15 at the Sonoco gymnasium at 6:30 p.m. to help the survivors of the ambush and the families of the slain officers.

Author: Rachel Howell

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