Illinois State Police release statement from fallen trooper’s family

Chicago News USA

Illinois State Police officials continue to mourn the loss of ISP South SWAT Trooper Nicholas Hopkins.

On August 23, 2019, at approximately 5:26 a.m., Hopkins and other ISP troopers were executing a search warrant Friday morning at a residence in the 1400 block of North 42nd Street in East Saint Louis.  There was an exchange of gunfire at the residence, and Hopkins was struck. He was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. At approximately 6:10 p.m., Hopkins succumbed to his injuries.

Hopkins, 33, of Waterloo, was 33 years old and a 10-year veteran of the Illinois State Police.  He began his Illinois State Police career on June 1, 2009, as a cadet at the Illinois State Police Academy.  After graduating from the academy in Cadet Class 117, he was assigned to District 12 (Effingham).  On August 1, 2013, he took an assignment with ISP Zone 7 Investigations General Criminal Unit, and in November 2013 he was assigned to District 11 patrol in Collinsville. In February 2016, he transferred to Zone 6’s Metro East Police Assistance Team. In September 2017, he was assigned to ISP SWAT and on March 16, 2018, he became a senior agent with the ISP.

Throughout his career with the ISP, Hopkins was recognized for his strong work ethic, his willingness to help others, and his wonderful sense of humor. The Hopkins family and the ISP would like to thank the public for their support and condolences during this difficult time.

The ISP also released 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 is survived by his wife, Whitney Hopkins; children Evelyn and Owen (twins), and Emma; parents, James Hopkins and Verna Hopkins; brothers and sisters Valerie Dortch, Zack Hopkins, Emily Auffenberg, Gabe Hopkins, and Abby Hopkins; grandmother Evelyn Hopkins; sister-in-law Erin Harris; father-in-law and mother-in-law James and Laural Harris; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.  He was a member of Life Community Church in Columbia.

Visitation will be 3-9 p.m. Saturday, August 31, at Waterloo High School, 505 East Bulldog. First responder and military walk-through will begin at 6 p.m. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, September 1, at the high school. Interment services are still being finalized.

Donations may be made to the Hopkins family by visiting the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation website at www.isphf.org/donations, or via U.S. mail to Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 8168, Springfield, IL 62791. On the website, note in the comments section “Trooper Nick Hopkins Memorial Fund.”

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