EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV.com) – A trooper with the Illinois State Police SWAT team was shot and killed in the line of duty early Friday morning in East St. Louis while serving a warrant.
33-year-old Trooper Nick Hopkins died from his injuries Friday afternoon at St. Louis University Hospital at 6:10 p.m.
Hopkins was serving a warrant at a home near Caseyville Avenue and North 42nd Street shortly before 5:30 a.m. Friday.
Brendan Kelly, Director of the ISP, said the death is the first of an Illinois State Police SWAT team member in 20 years.
“It is with profound heartache and unfathomable sadness that we inform you of the death of Trooper Nicholas Hopkins. Trooper Hopkins laid down his life while protecting the citizens of this state,” Kelly announced during a press conference.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Steven D. Weinhoeft said his office is working tirelessly to get justice for Hopkins and his family.
“At a time when law enforcement is under attack. The U.S Attorney’s Office is here to say enough,” said Weinhoeft. “We are here to pledge to bring every resource to ensure and seek justice in this case
Trooper Hopkins was a 10-year veteran of the Illinois State Police.
“Nick Hopkins was a bright light in this world,” said ISP Acting Director Brendan Kelly.
Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith says Hopkins was married and the father of four-year-old twins and an infant daughter.
Mayor Smith says his town is heartbroken.
“He always had a smile, he loved it, his dad said Nick was so happy when he made the tactical response team and he just loved it, so he’s happy to be a trooper,” said Mayor Smith.
Hopkins was raised in Waterloo where his father currently serves as an alderman.
His brother is an officer in Columbia, Illinois.
Mayor Smith says Hopkins was also a skilled business man in flipping properties in Waterloo.
Hopkins’ body and organs will be donated to help save up to 40 people.
ONGOING SWAT PRESENCE CONTINUES
Any information regarding the suspect has not yet been released.
Detectives were seen combing through the East St. Louis neighborhood Friday and News 4 crews saw police storm the home and take three people into custody. It’s unknown if the shooter was one of the men arrested or if a search is ongoing.
Several police agencies including Illinois State Police, East St. Louis Police and tactical remained at the scene all morning and into the late evening.
There was word that one more suspect remained inside, but officials have not confirmed there was anyone else inside.
Powerhouse Skyzoom4 was over the house when fire crews where spraying the home with water.
Officials said it was safe for nearby schools to have class but there was extra security on hand at Wyvetter Young Alternation Center. A principal at Unity Lutheran Christian Elementary told News 4 the school was on soft lockdown Friday.
State leaders are crediting members of Hopkins SWAT team with prolonging his life at the scene. With their efforts, he was able to be rushed to the hospital for treatment.
“In particular, I give thanks to the troopers who performed CPR for an extended period of time on their fellow trooper to sustain their brother’s life so that his family could see him one last time,” said Acting Director of Illinois State Police Brendan Kelly.
Members of law enforcement saluted as Hopkin’s body was carried out of St. Louis University hospital, marking the end of a devastating day.
“He’s another great hero of Illinois that has paid the ultimate price while protecting and serving the citizens of this state,” said Kelly.
BackStoppers is assisting Hopkins’ family during this time. The organization’s goal is to make the family debt-free and to provide support, etc.
“Today the entire state mourns the loss of ISP South SWAT Trooper Nicholas Hopkins, a young man who dedicated 10 of his 33 years on this earth to protecting the people of Illinois. It is the most courageous among us who choose a life of risk so their communities can go about their lives in peace. The state of Illinois stands with Trooper Hopkins’ family and the entire Illinois State Police family as they grieve the loss of another heroic officer.” – Governor JB Prizker