On December 18, 1950, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Deputy Rupert Hopkins was patrolling the Nogales Highway when he observed a vehicle that matched the description of a wanted vehicle headed south. Thinking the occupants had just been involved in a bank robbery in Douglas, Deputy Hopkins stopped the vehicle which contained several University of Arizona students. Deputy Hopkins’ investigation revealed that the students were innocent and he was just about to let them go when he suffered a heart attack. The students wasted no time in seeking help for Deputy Hopkins. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead after attempts to revive him failed.
Rupert Hopkins had been a deputy for four years and served under Sheriff Jerome P. Martin. In his youth, Deputy Hopkins suffered an injury from a freight train which left him with only one leg. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, Julia and Jo Ann and a son, Rupert Jr. He was 64 years old.
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