A rookie California cop who “didn’t have a mean bone in his body” was shot to death while responding to a roadside disturbance call Wednesday morning, making him the fourth law enforcement officer killed in the Golden State in less than three weeks, police said.
Modoc County sheriff’s deputy Jack Hopkins, 31, was fatally shot around 10:30 a.m. after responding to a call from a rural area some 10 miles south of Alturas, cops said in a statement.
A dispatcher received a call about an officer-involved shooting shortly after Hopkins arrived on the scene.
California Highway Patrol cops and local officers rushed over and discovered Hopkins fatally shot on the ground.
An unidentified suspect was taken into custody shortly thereafter.
Further details about the shooting or the arrest were not immediately available and Modoc County Sheriff’s office did not return requests for comment early Thursday.
The nearby Alturas Municipal Airport remembered Hopkins as a polite officer who joined the department less than a year ago.
“When he pulled you over for a headlight, or something you did, he always was courteous and had a smile on his face,” the airport said in a Facebook post. “He didn’t have a mean bone in his body, just a great guy.”
Hopkins is the fourth law enforcement officer in California to be killed while on duty since the beginning of October. A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was shot to death on Oct. 5 while responding to a burglary, and two Palm Springs officers died after an assault rifle-wielding gang member ambushed them on Oct. 8.
The Modoc County Sheriff’s office posted a video on its Facebook page Thursday evening titled “Deputy Jack Hopkins Procession.” The video shows dozens of cop cars riding along a main street with their sirens flashing.
“This deputy was so young and just doing his job. Makes me sick that something like this can happen,” a Facebook user commented on the video.