Mendota Heights police officer shot in West St. Paul - KMSP-TV

Mendota Heights police officer shot in West St. Paul; suspect shot

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon during a traffic stop near Dodd Road and Smith Avenue in West St. Paul, Fox 9 sources confirmed. Police arrested the suspect, 39-year-old Brian George Fitch Sr., after he opened fire on officers in St. Paul and was shot multiple times.

Officer Patrick, 47, served with the Mendota Heights Police Department for 19 years. He was the most senior officer in the department, and Mendota Heights Police Chief Mike Aschenbrener said he'd been a patrol officer during the day shift for most of his career, which began in 1995. He leaves behind a wife and two teenaged children.

Manhunt for wanted cop killer ends in St. Paul

Police spent much of the day searching several addresses in the St. Paul, South St. Paul and West St. Paul areas as they search for Fitch, and many officers outfitted in full SWAT attire spent hours on the move near Livingston and Baker on Wednesday night after the car involved in Patrick's slaying was found in the area.

MORE: SWAT on the move in St. Paul, suspect's car found


Police recovered the forest green Pontiac Grand Am that Fitch is believed to have used to flee from the scene of the shooting, but police caught up with him about 3 miles away near Sycamore and Rice streets. After a shootout, Fitch and a woman were injured and taken to Regions Hospital.

Residents rushed to fallen officer's aid

Greg Reid told Fox 9 News his office looks right out on the shooting scene, and he said he heard 3 quick gunshots at about 12:20 p.m. before running across the street to find an off-duty nurse was trying to perform CPR on the fallen officer.

"Looked out and saw the police car with the lights on and the policeman laying on the ground," Reid recalled. "By the time I got there, there was somebody over there. There were two people over there. They'd rolled him over and somebody started doing compressions, but he wasn't breathing. His eyes were open and there was lots of blood."

MORE: Residents rush to fallen Mendota Heights officer's aid

The officer had two apparent gunshot wounds to the head and neck. A woman who spoke with Fox 9 News said a friend from church told her -- and investigators -- that the suspect nearly hit her head on as he sped away while tossing baggies out of the car.

1st Mendota Heights officer killed in line of duty


PHOTO: Search for suspect in Mendota Heights

This is the first time a Mendota Heights officer has ever been killed in the line of duty according to the "Officer Down Memorial Page." The Mendota Heights Police Department consists of 18 sworn officers and 3 civilian employees. Ten officers are assigned to the patrol division and work one of three rotating shifts. Three officers work in the investigations division which includes the assignment of the school resource officer position at Henry Sibley High School. The department utilizes the services of 1 part-time officer.

The most recent officer fatally shot on duty was Cold Spring Police Department's Tom Decker, who was killed Nov. 29, 2012 when responding to a call to check on a man's welfare.


PHOTO: Flag lowered for fallen officer at Mendota Heights City Hall

Mendota Heights City Hall remained on lockdown as law enforcement officers set up a command center to continue the manhunt for Fitch. By the end of the night, a small memorial to Patrick had also grown outside the building the small department calls home.

Vigil of Officer Patrick draws hundreds of mourners

Moments after the crime scene tape was cleared, members of the community began to flock to the intersection off Dodd and Smith to pay their respects to Patrick. Many brought flowers, balloons and candles as they shared stories of the departments most senior officer.

MORE: Candlelight vigil draws hundreds, fund for family set up

"It's a shock," Kathy Patrick, the slain officer's sister-in-law, told Fox 9 News. "You hear it happening. You don't believe it's going to happen to you. He was a great guy. He was very well-loved and he's going to be missed."

494 chase not connected to shooting

The Minnesota State Patrol has confirmed a high-speed chase on Highway 110 and Interstate 494 that ended in Woodbury, Minn. is not connected to the fatal shooting of a Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick. Watch video of the chase at http://youtu.be/cOnEZNNuU2g

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