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An Illinois state trooper died on Friday of wounds he suffered for hours before, during the execution of a search warrant.
Illinois State Police SWAT team member, Nicholas Hopkins, 33, was shot at around 5:30 p.m. during an exchange of gunfire while he and the other troopers were, the warrant for a home in the area of East of california. Louis.
Hopkins was taken to California. Louis University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to a “serious injury” at about 6:10 a.m., Illinois State Police Acting Director, Brendan Kelly told the crowd of reporters.
(Illinois State Police)
After the shooting, the police are surrounding the house and arrested three people. The police remained on the scene throughout the day, it is uncertain if the other suspect was barricaded inside the home, according to authorities. The three men who were arrested have not been identified and authorities have not revealed the basis for the search warrant.
In a statement after the shooting, and Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker noted, the state troopers and a display of incredible courage, and for “putting their lives on the line for us each and every day.”
“Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers at such a dangerous, action-packed situation in the East of california. Louis, and each and every day,” he said.
“In the name of the governor and the people of Illinois, and extend my heartfelt gratitude goes out to all of the agencies of law enforcement, mental health professionals, social workers, and medical staff for their support and assistance during this difficult time,” Kelly said. “In particular, I give my thanks to the troopers who carried out CPR for an extended period of time with their fellow troopers to support their brother’s life so that his family could see him one last time.”
Hopkins leaves a wife and three children. He also has three sisters and two brothers, one of whom serves as a police officer in the department of state, Kelly pointed out.
“It’s very difficult to express the depth of my sadness, and my condolences to the entire Hopkins family, his friends, and the State of Illinois, the Police family,” he said.
Hopkins was a 10-year veteran of the force, and grew up in Waterloo, where he was guarded, and where his father is currently serving as a city councillor.
Hopkins is the fourth Illinois State Trooper to be killed this year, and his death is the first death of an Illinois Police SWAT team member in over 20 years, Kelly said.
A SUSPECT ACCUSED OF SHOOTING 6-PHILADELPHIA POLICE ARE AT A STAND-OFF AND CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER
U. s. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Steve Weinhoeft said that the area where the shooting took place, was “very dangerous.”
“He (Hopkins) is trying to make the community safer for every man, woman, and child,” Weinhoeft said.
“He was a great hero of Illinois, which has paid the ultimate price while protecting and serving the citizens of the state,” the acting director said. “This has been a very bitter moment for me, as it has been in the house a part of my country. It’s hard, and especially hard for the entire national police force.”
Kelly said the assistant, denise, was a “bright light” in the world, has been and will continue to be so even after his death.
“Even now, he continues to serve. He will be donating his organs and his body, in order to be able to help others,” he said. “He would want us all to know that he was as healthy as a horse, and that is to have a healthy body, it can help save or improve the lives of as many as 40 people through organ donation and transplantation.”
“Even in death, even in this dark moment, the light seems to be,” Kelly added.
Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith, told KMOV that the community is “heartbroken.”
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“He always had a smile on his face, he liked it very much, and his father, Nick, was so happy when he was with the tactical response team, and he liked it very much, so he was glad to be inside,” Smith said.
“Nick’s father, Nick, was incredibly strong hands, and it was an incredible carpenter,” Kelly said. “So now, please join me in a moment of prayer and silence in order to pray for his family, and the life of a Trooper in Hopkins, when he was transferred into the hands of the largest of the carpenter.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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