An Illinois State Police trooper died hours after he was shot Friday while executing a warrant in downstate East St. Louis.
Trooper Nicholas Hopkins was shot during “an exchange of gunfire” at 5:26 a.m. while serving a search warrant at a home in the 1400 block of North 42nd Street, according to Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly.
Hopkins, a 33-year-old trooper and 10-year ISP veteran, was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and died about 6:10 p.m., Kelly said. Hopkins was working with state police’s South SWAT team.
“It is with profound heartache and unfathomable sadness that we inform you of the death of Trooper Nicholas Hopkins,” Kelly said in a statement. “Trooper Hopkins laid down his life while protecting the citizens of this state.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker called Hopkins a “heroic officer” in a statement released Friday night.
“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,” Pritzker said. “It is the most courageous among us who choose a life of risk so their communities can go about their lives in peace.”
Authorities said Friday morning that the shooting is “an open and ongoing investigation with an active scene” but did not release further details.
Hopkins was the second Illinois State trooper shot this month.
Another officer was shot on Aug. 15 while serving a search warrant in northwest suburban Wheeling. Volodymyr Dragan, 43, allegedly fired shots from inside his home and struck the 32-year-old trooper, state police said. The officer was treated and released. Dragan was charged with attempted murder in the incident.