In Memory of Trooper Nicholas John Hopkins
On Friday, August 23, 2019, Illinois residents were stunned to hear that a state trooper had been shot and killed in the line of duty. Trooper Nicholas John Hopkins, badge number 6141, died due to a gunshot wound received while working. Trooper Hopkins was 33 years of age.
Trooper Hopkins had joined with other members of the Emergency Response Team. The officers intended on serving a search warrant at an address on North 42nd Street near Caseyville Avenue. They were in East St. Louis, Illinois.
At approximately 5:30 am, Hopkins and the other officer made initial entry into the home. As Hopkins entered the residence, he was shot by the occupant. There was an exchange of gunfire between the occupant and officers.
Trooper Hopkins had shown promise as an elite officer when he graduated from the police academy. He has been a member of the Illinois State Police force for approximately ten years. He was a young man of 23 when he joined the force.
Illinois State Police, Illinois
Hopkins was part of the elite officers who joined the Illinois State Police. The ISP was initiated in 1922, and today, the agency has 21 districts and more than 3,000 employees. The ISP provides patrols on Illinois roads and highways. They also have the responsibility of maintaining the state’s sex offender registry. They also run background checks and issue FOID or Firearm Owner Identification cards.
The ISP also provides backup to other law enforcement agencies. They can be available to help both police and sheriff departments in their area. Officers offer additional security at significant public events and join special task forces to fight crime in the case of Hopkins.
Trooper Nicholas John Hopkins leaves behind his wife, children, and brother. He also leaves behind many friends, extended family, and coworkers that will also mourn the loss of the beloved officer. Honor ceremonies were provided as hundreds of residents and area officers showed up for the funeral service to show their gratitude to the Hopkins family.
Acting Director of the Illinois State Police, Brendan Kelly, was filled with grief over the loss. “It is nearly impossible to express the depth of my sadness. Nick Hopkins was a bright light in this world.”
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police stated the following about the loss of Trooper Hopkins. “Nick was an extraordinary and selfless hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his community and our state. He represents the highest ideals of the law enforcement profession and willingly and routinely ran toward danger to safeguard the lives and property of his fellow citizens. The people of Illinois will always remember Nick’s courage and dedication, and we want his wife and three children to know that we mourn with them on the loss of this great husband, father, and hero.”
The Hopkins family released a statement to the public following their loss. “There are so many others we want to thank, including those names we never learned. Know that your kindness and support have not gone unnoticed; your actions are imprinted on our hearts forever. 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 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.”