COLUMBIA, Illinois — A special honor will take place Thursday morning for an Illinois State Police trooper who died in the line of duty.
Trooper Nick Hopkins was killed in the line of duty in 2019. A stretch of highway is being named after him.
Hopkins was shot to death while serving a warrant at a house in East St. Louis. Illinois State Police will dedicate a seven-mile stretch of Illinois Route 3 between Kaskaskia Road and GG Road.
It will be named Trooper Nicholas J. Hopkins Memorial Highway.
The right lane and shoulder of Route 3 will be closed for the unveiling. There will be a private service at Life Community Church in Columbia, followed by a procession, around noon.
Video of the ceremony will be posted on the Illinois State Police Facebook page.
The media is not invited to the church ceremony, but 5 On Your Side will provide coverage of the procession and the unveiling of the highway sign.
Christopher R. Grant, 47, was sentenced in federal court in November for Hopkins' death.
Grant lived in the East St. Louis home where Trooper Nick Hopkins and other officers were serving a search warrant for drug offenses one morning back in August 2019. Hopkins was helping set up hooks and chains to the steel bars protecting Grant’s home in an effort to forcibly remove them from the front door, prosecutors said. As he turned around to walk away, he was shot, police said.
Grant later told police that he was sleeping inside on a couch and woke up thinking he was being robbed. He then fired three shots toward the front door, killing Hopkins.
Hopkins was 33 years old. He was a 10-year veteran with ISP and was married with three children. He had three sisters and two brothers, and one of his brothers served in another police department in Illinois.