Father of slain student charged in robbery - KCTV5

Father of slain student charged in robbery

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A man who began a crime-fighting campaign after his son was gunned down on his way home from a library nearly two years ago now faces criminal charges himself.

Nelson E. Hopkins Sr. was charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with two counts of first-degree robbery involving the robbery of a pizza shop.

His son, Nelson Hopkins Jr., was killed in December 2009, when he was shot in the chest after leaving the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library. No arrests have been made since.

In the time since his son's shooting, the elder Hopkins had become an advocate for non-violence in the community.

Police were called on June 14 to a Cash & Check, at 800 NW 7 Hwy, in Blue Springs. Workers had reported a suspicious black man wearing a green shirt and a white mask outside the building.

Authorities said as officers arrived at the scene they received a 911 call from Domino's Pizza, at 736 NW 7 Hwy in Blue Springs. Witnesses at the Domino's said a black man wearing a green shirt and white mask robbed the business while armed with a black handgun.

According to court documents, an employee told Officer Randall Francis that the gunman had changed his clothing behind a Dumpster on the northeast corner of the building. Francis located a gray work glove behind the Dumpster as well as a green sweatshirt in another Dumpster near the business. He found a green long-sleeved shirt and white dust mask in a third Dumpster nearby.

Francis returned to the initial Dumpster where he found a black Daisy brand air pistol, a pair of tan Brahma work boots and a pair of dark khaki pants, according to court documents.

When two other officers arrived at the scene they saw a black man, later identified as Hopkins Sr., running west wearing black shorts and a black mesh shirt, and he was barefoot. The officers were in the process of ordering Hopkins Sr. to the ground at gunpoint, when a Domino's employee ran up and said, "That's him," according to court documents.

Hopkins Sr. was arrested and investigators said when he was searched police discovered a white Domino's Pizza bag with $155 in his right front pocket. A second victim identified Hopkins Sr. as the man who had just robbed him and the business, police said.

According to court records, police said during their interview with Hopkins Sr. that he admitted committing the armed robbery. He denied ever pointing the air soft pistol at any of the victims.

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