FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A Philadelphia Police Officer traded his badge for a brush to honor Florence Police Sergeant Terrence Carraway. Nineteen days later, he found himself honoring another fallen ‘hero’ from Florence County, Investigator Farrah Turner.
Being a 12-year veteran of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, serving a warrant was no new task for Turner. This is what led her to the home of Frederick Hopkins to serve a warrant for his son, Seth Hopkins, on October 3rd.
Little did she know that the sunny afternoon would quickly turn dark as she was met with bullets at the front door.
The ambush lasted hours, sending seven law enforcement officers from two different agencies to the hospital. The night of the shooting, Sergeant Carraway passed away.
With the news of Carraway’s death, Philadelphia Police Officer Jonny Castro, began a portrait for the fallen officer’s family and police department more than 500 miles away.
“The bravery and courage that Sergeant Carraway showed were above and beyond anything I’ve heard of recently," Castro said.
For nearly three weeks, Castro continually checked for updates on Turner’s condition, hoping she would no longer be listed in critical condition.
“I was actually following any updates of hers pretty closely,” Castro said. "I remember hearing that she was injured the worse of the 6 wounded officers so I was really hoping and praying that she’d pull through."
Turner died from the injuries she received in the mass shooting on Monday, 19 days after she was shot.
Upon hearing the news, Castro began painting his 131st portrait of 2018, Investigator Farrah Turner.
“It’s tough to know that the deputies and officers in Florence County will have to prepare for another hero’s funeral,” Castro said. “I just hope this portrait of Farrah lets her family know that they have people all over the country sending them their prayers and support.”
For Castro, the mass shooting hit home, saying he knows first hand it is hard whether it is a first responder you know personally, or someone who serves hundreds of miles away. The best way to cope, is to be there for your fellow brothers and sisters in blue.
“There was a time when Philly PD had 6 officers murdered within a 15-month span," Castro said. "I remember a lot of my friends and co-workers were having trouble coping with what was happening. Make sure you’re there for your fellow officers and talk them through whatever they’re feeling is the best way to beat it. Putting on the uniform and going back out on the streets is how we honor these officers' sacrifice.”
Honoring the fallen is nothing new for Castro; he says that he has painted more than 300 portraits of officers, soldiers, K9s, firefighters, and other men and women who have paid the ultimate price.
During the day you can find Castro either on the streets of Philadelphia or sketching suspect photos. At night, you'll find him in his home working on the portraits of the fallen officers.
“I do them for free for the officers' families and departments,” Castro said.
He will be mailing prints of Turner’s painting to the department in the coming days with a note to ensure her family receives them.
Castro posted Turner’s portrait to Facebook on Wednesday, so far the post has been shared nearly 7,000 times.
The post said:
“Investigator Farrah Turner didn’t go quietly. She fought hard for 19 long days, braved 8 surgeries and even had to have both feet amputated. Sadly, Farrah eventually succumbed to the critical gunshot wounds she sustained in the October 3rd ambush in which 7 officers were shot. Affectionately known as “Maxine” by the people who loved her, she was remembered as the ultimate professional, excelling at everything she did. Farrah dedicated her life to serving the victims of the worst crimes imaginable. Even people she arrested came to sit and pray with her and let the family know how much of an effect she had on their lives. Investigator Turner was a 12-year veteran of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, specializing in crimes against children. Farrah passed away on Monday night, surrounded by numerous friends and family.”
On Thursday Castro said:
“I’ve received hundreds of private messages since last night. I just wanted to say thank you for all the kind words. Unfortunately, I don’t sell the artwork of the fallen officers. It just wouldn’t be right. I always ship one batch of prints directly to the family and the high res artwork is retired, unless specifically requested by a loved one. That’s what makes this so special. I also got a ton of requests to paint other portraits. The current year line of duty deaths always take precedence. They’re the reason I started doing this. I will definitely do my best to get to others when I free up some time, but at the current rate that officers are being killed, it’s extremely hard to work on much else. Thank you you so much for supporting what I do.”
A public viewing for Farrah Turner will be held at the Florence Civic Center on Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Funeral services will follow at the civic center at noon. Burial will be held at Florence Memorial Gardens.