Man accused of shooting Illinois state trooper is indicted by grand jury

Christopher R. Grant, who is accused of shooting and killing State Police Trooper Nicholas Hopkins on Aug. 23, was indicted Friday on a charge of first-degree murder.

Grant, 45, also was indicted on charges of being an armed habitual criminal, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, armed violence, and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

Charging documents say Grant was previously convicted of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Hopkins, 33, was an Illinois State Police SWAT trooper who was struck after gunfire broke out when officers attempted to execute a no-knock search warrant at a duplex at 1426 N. 42nd St. near Caseyville Avenue in East St. Louis on Aug. 23. Hopkins died in St. Louis University Hospital later that day.

Hopkins, a 10-year veteran from Waterloo, is survived by his wife, Whitney, and three young children.

Grant, who is being held in the St. Clair County Jail on $5 million bond, has yet to hire an attorney, according to St. Clair County Circuit Clerk records. During his Aug. 26 arraignment, Grant said he was considering whether he would get a private attorney.

Al Stewart, Jr. , 20, of East St. Louis, who also was arrested after Hopkins was shot, was indicted on Friday as well.

Stewart was indicted by the grand jury on charges of armed violence, unlawful possession with the intent to distribute, and obstructing justice.

Charging documents say Stewart had between 10 and 30 grams of marijuana and hid a .40-caliber Glock handgun.

Stewart’s bond was set at $250,000 and also was still in the St. Clair County Jail. St. Clair County online records show that Stewart is being represented by a public defender. A representative from the public defender’s office could not be reached for comment Friday.

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.
Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and is from St. Louis.