The family of an Illinois State trooper who was shot and killed in the line of duty Friday has released a statement, three days after his death.
"Words cannot convey the pain of the loss and the emptiness in our hearts. Words also fail to describe the lasting impact Nick had on the lives of everyone who knew him. Nick was a son, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin, friend, carpenter, and trooper, but the job he loved most was being a husband and father. Nick will live on through the memories we cherish and in how we emulate his passion for life: "You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." It brings us comfort to know Nick's legacy will live on by the actions of others. To his comrades on the SWAT team, thank you for your heroism and allowing us to spend more time with him. We are incredibly grateful for the love, dedication, and loyalty you showed your fellow brother. To the Illinois State Police and the entire law enforcement community, we thank you for your dedication to protecting and serving in the face of unknown danger. We are overwhelmed with your generosity. We will never forget your commitment to building and preserving Nick's legacy. To the medical staff at Saint Louis University Hospital, thank you for your tireless care and comfort in our darkest hour. Thank you for creating the space for us to say goodbye and enabling Nick to live on through his gift of life to others. To the city of Waterloo, his church family at Life Community Church of Columbia, and surrounding areas, thank you for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support in honor of Nick. There are so many others we want to thank, including those names we never learned. Know that your kindness and support has not gone unnoticed, your actions are imprinted on our hearts forever."
- Hopkins Family