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Grand jury issues 10-count indictment against suspect in Trooper Hopkins' death

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV.com) – The suspect charged in the shooting death of Illinois State Trooper Nick Hopkins was indicted by a grand jury Friday.

Christopher Grant, 45, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and several more charges. He is is being held at the St. Clair County Jail on a $5,000,000 bond.

Grant is also charged with armed habitual criminal, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, two counts of armed violence and three counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

Hopkins and Grant

Christopher Grant, left, is charged with fatally shooting Illinois State Trooper Nick Hopkins.

Trooper Hopkins was shot and killed in the line of duty while serving a warrant near Caseyville Avenue and North 42nd Street in East St. Louis shortly before 5:30 a.m. Friday. 

Hopkins died from his injuries Friday afternoon at St. Louis University Hospital at 6:10 p.m.

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."

Two others were also taken into custody.

ABOUT HOPKINS

Trooper Nick Hopkins

Trooper Nick Hopkins was a 10 year veteran of the Illinois State Police.

Trooper Hopkins was a 10-year veteran of the Illinois State Police. Hopkins was married and the father of four-year-old twins and an infant daughter.

"Nick Hopkins was a bright light in this world," said ISP Acting Director Brendan Kelly.

In Waterloo, Hopkins's hometown, residents are heartbroken. Mayor Tom Smith said being a state trooper was Hopkins' calling.

"He always had a smile, he loved it," Smith said. "His dad said Nick was so happy when he made the tactical response team and he just loved it, so he was happy to be a trooper." 

Hopkins father currently serves as an alderman in Waterloo.

His brother is an officer in Columbia, Illinois.

Mayor Smith says Hopkins was also a skilled business man who flipped properties in Waterloo.

Hopkins' body and organs will be donated to help save up to 40 people.

SWAT PRESENCE

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. Grant was one of the men arrested at the scene.

Several police agencies including Illinois State Police, East St. Louis Police and tactical remained at the scene all morning and into the late evening.

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.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

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 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.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker made a statement following Hopkins' death, saying the entire state is grieving. 

“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

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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