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Slain officer has local ties

This is an undated courtesy photo of Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, who was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Patrick was shot and killed while making a traffic stop Wednesday.

Law enforcement officers as well as civilians across the state are reeling from the recent shooting of Mendota Heights veteran police officer Scott Patrick during a routine traffic stop Wednesday, July 30.

That includes many family members of Patrick’s in the Alexandria and Osakis area.

Witnesses reported that Patrick stopped a vehicle in West St. Paul at around 12:20 p.m. After he approached the driver’s window of the vehicle, three shots were quickly fired and the vehicle sped away.

Patrick fell with two apparent gunshot wounds to the head and neck. He was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital a short time later.

A massive manhunt ensued. At 8 p.m. that evening, the suspect, Brian George Fitch Sr., was apprehended in a parking lot in St. Paul.

After being surrounded by police, he opened fire. St. Paul officers returned fire, hitting Fitch several times, as well as a woman passenger in the vehicle. Both were taken to Regions Hospital. The woman had non-life-threatening injuries. Fitch was listed in serious condition as of Thursday.

Fitch, 39, was out of prison on supervised release for a burglary conviction from Washington County. He has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for theft, escaping custody, fleeing from police officers, terroristic threats and fifth-degree assault.

Patrick, 47, was an officer in Shakopee from 1992 to 1995 before joining the Mendota Heights department in 1995.

Patrick’s father, Richard Patrick, was born and raised in the Belle River/Carlos area before moving to the Twin Cities.

He and his wife and children spent their summers in the Douglas County area, living on Lake Aaron and Mill Lake before spending many years on Lake Osakis, where a family home is still owned.

Numerous cousins and other relatives still live in the Douglas County area.

Patrick leaves behind a wife and two teenage daughters. An account has been set up for the family at

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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