COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (KFVS) - The funeral for an Illinois State trooper who died from his injuries following an exchange of gunfire was held on Sunday, September 1.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker spoke at Hopkins’ funeral about the importance of honoring and remember those who served.
Gov. JB Pritzker spoke of Hopkins’ commitment to the job and his lasting impression on people.
ISP Acting Director Brendan Kelly also spoken and had great things to say about the fallen trooper.
According to ISP, hundreds have lined up to show their support of his family and the department.
The visitation for Trooper Nicholas Hopkins took place Saturday, Aug. 31 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Waterloo High School, 505 East Bulldog in Waterloo, Ill.
A first responder and military walk-through started at 6 p.m.
According to Illinois State Police, the funeral procession left the Waterloo High School at around noon and followed the route at a low speed.
Trooper Hopkins was survived by his wife Whitney Hopkins and his children, twins Evelyn and Owen, and Emma.
Trooper Hopkins’ family released a statement on Monday, August 26.
St. Clair County State’s Attorney James A. Gomric announced that Christopher R. Grant, 45, was charged Saturday, August 24 with first-degree murder in the shooting of 33-year-old Illinois State Police Trooper Nicholas Hopkins.
His bond was set by the court at $5 million.
Officials say a second person has been arrested.
Illinois State Police reported that on Friday morning, Aug. 23, Trooper Hopkins was shot while conducting a search warrant.
Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly announced on Friday evening that Hopkins died from his injuries at 6:10 p.m.
The trooper was a 10-year veteran of the ISP.
ISP said in a social post to be aware of fake fundraising accounts being set up in honor of Trooper Hopkins.
According to state police, donations may be made to the Hopkins family by visiting the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation website or via U.S. mail to Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 8168, Springfield, Illinois 62791. If donating through the website, they ask that you please make sure to note in the comments section, “Trooper Nick Hopkins Memorial Fund.”
“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. We are asking the public to respectfully give consideration to the family of Trooper Hopkins and the ISP while we continue to grieve and work through this tragedy,” stated Acting Director Brendan Kelly.
“As most of you already know, the Illinois State Police suffered an untimely and tragic line of duty death of SWAT Operator Trooper Nicholas Hopkins yesterday evening. In the nearly 100 year history of the Illinois State Police, we have NEVER lost four troopers in one year and this is the first loss of a SWAT operator in the 20 year history of ISP SWAT. But know this, our hearts may be broken, but our resolve is NOT. We will continue to serve the people of this great state with an unwavering determination to pursue justice with all of our might,” Lieutenant Colonel David Byrd, Assistant Deputy Director.
“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," stated Gov. JB Pritzker. "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.”
“Trooper Nick Hopkins is a true hero to us all. He was a man who for 10 years went to work every day and faced extreme dangers," said Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo). He was not rewarded with fame, glory, or a big paycheck. He did what he did in the hope of making our world a safer and better place for the rest of us to live. We should all be inspired by his service and sacrifice. Please keep his family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their beloved father, husband, brother, and son.”
State police said the shooting happened in the 1400 block of North 42nd Street in East St. Louis in the early morning hours.
At 5:26 a.m., there was an exchange of gunfire at the home and the Trooper was struck, according to state police. Other ISP troopers were on hand as well serving the warrant.
The case was investigated by the Illinois State Police Divisions of Internal Investigations and Criminal Investigations.