Family of slain Illinois state trooper releases statement

WATERLOO, Ill. – Just days after an Illinois state trooper was shot and killed in the line of duty, the family of the slain trooper released a statement thanking the public and law enforcement community for its support.

Illinois State Trooper Nicholas Hopkins and other troopers were attempting to serve a warrant at a residence in the 1400 block of N. 42nd Street and Caseyville Avenue just before 5:30 a.m. on Friday, August 23. Hopkins was struck during an exchange of gunfire at the home. Three people were taken into custody at the scene.

Trooper Hopkins was rushed to St. Louis University Hospital where doctors attempted to save his life. He was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m. Hopkins was 33. He was the fourth state trooper to die in the line of duty in 2019.

Late Monday afternoon, the Illinois State Police issued the following statement from Hopkins' family:

“Words cannot convey the pain of the loss and the emptiness in our hearts. Words also fail to describe the lasting impact Nick had on the lives of everyone who knew him. Nick was a son, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin, friend, carpenter, and trooper, but the job he loved most was being a husband and father. Nick will live on through the memories we cherish and in how we emulate his passion for life: 'You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.' It brings us comfort to know Nick’s legacy will live on by the actions of others.

"To his comrades on the SWAT team, thank you for your heroism and allowing us to spend more time with him. We are incredibly grateful for the love, dedication, and loyalty you showed your fellow brother.

"To the Illinois State Police and the entire law enforcement community, we thank you for your dedication to protecting and serving in the face of unknown danger. We are overwhelmed with your generosity. We will never forget your commitment to building and preserving Nick’s legacy.

"To the medical staff at Saint Louis University Hospital, thank you for your tireless care and comfort in our darkest hour. Thank you for creating the space for us to say goodbye and enabling Nick to live on through his gift of life to others.

"To the city of Waterloo, his church family at Life Community Church of Columbia, and surrounding areas, thank you for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support in honor of Nick.

"There are so many others we want to thank, including those names we never learned. Know that your kindness and support has not gone unnoticed, your actions are imprinted on our hearts forever.”

- Hopkins Family

Visitation for Trooper Hopkins is set for Saturday, August 31 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Waterloo High School, 505 East Bulldog, Waterloo, Illinois. A first responder and military walkthrough will begin at 6 p.m. The funeral service is Sunday, September 1 at 10 a.m., also at Waterloo High School. Interment services had not yet been finalized.

The man accused of killing Trooper Hopkins, Christopher Grant, was charged with first-degree murder. Grant is being held in the St. Clair County jail on a $5 million bond.

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