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Illinois state trooper killed in the line of duty

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Illinois State Trooper Nicholas Hopkins

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois state trooper was shot and killed in the line of duty while serving a search warrant Friday morning.

Trooper Nicholas Hopkins was 33. He is the fourth state trooper to die in the line of duty in 2019.

Hopkins and other troopers were attempting to serve a warrant at a residence in the 1400 block of N. 42nd Street and Caseyville Ave just before 5:30 a.m. Hopkins was struck during an exchange of gunfire at the home.

Images from Bommarito Automotive SkyFox showed several police agencies on the scene.

Three people at the home were taken into police custody. One person had barricaded themselves in the residence.

Hopkins was rushed to St. Louis University Hospital where doctors attempted to save his life. He was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.

Illinois State Police (ISP) Acting Director Brendan Kelly said Hopkins was an organ donor and that, even in death, he would continue to help and serve the public. Up to 40 people would be the recipients of organs from the fallen state trooper.

Kelly said Hopkins's death is the first loss of an ISP SWAT officer in nearly 20 years. ISP has lost more troopers this year than any other year in its history.

Kelly thanked all law enforcement, emergency personnel, and medical personnel.

"In particular, I give my thanks to the troopers who performed CPR for an extended period on their fellow trooper to sustain their brother's life so that his family could see him one last time," said Kelly.

Hopkins began serving with Illinois State Police around a decade ago. He was a native of Waterloo, Illinois. He was married and the father of 4-year-old twins and an infant daughter.

St. Louis BackStoppers issued a statement late Friday afternoon that Hopkins' family would receive a check to help with immediate expenses and assurances of further help. Representatives will meet with Hopkins' wife in the coming weeks to discuss the family's other financial obligations.

Late Friday night, the ISP declared there was no threat to public safety concerning the home where Hopkins was shot but said the investigation was still ongoing.

Steven D. Weinhoeft, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, issued the statement following Trooper Hopkins’ death:

“We were deeply saddened to learn that Trooper Nick Hopkins will not survive the senseless act of violence he suffered in the line of duty earlier this morning. The entire federal law enforcement community stands as one today to mourn his passing. Our hearts go out to his family and all those who are grieving his loss. We also condemn in the strongest possible terms the despicable, cowardly act that took his life.

“Trooper Hopkins was a dedicated officer who served our community with honor, bravery, and fidelity. He leaves behind an enduring legacy that will live on in the lives he touched; in the work that the courageous men and women of the Illinois State Police continue to perform; and in a community that is safer because of his devoted service. His loss underscores the real dangers that are routinely faced by those who protect and serve us each and every day. Their work is truly heroic, and we are forever in their debt.”

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