WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. - Police say a Mendota Heights police officer was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop Wednesday afternoon.
It happened on Dodd Road near the intersection of Smith Avenue South around 12:30 p.m. near Jim's Market.
Police say Officer Scott Patrick, 47, was critically injured when he was shot after he stopped a vehicle. He was taken to Regions Hospital where he died.
Officers from multiple departments engaged in an intense manhunt in a number of residential neighborhoods in Mendota Heights, concentrating especially on the 2400 block of Pond Circle East. Police confirm that three people from a home on that block were taken into custody, but have not detailed why those people were detained.
Mendota Heights Police say they are looking for Brian Fitch, Sr., who they have named as a suspect in the shooting investigation.
According to authorities, Fitch, 39, resides in the South St. Paul or West St. Paul area. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension describes him as being 5'10" and weighing 190 lbs. He has blue eyes and brown hair. Authorities say he is believed to be armed and dangerous.
KARE's investigative team has learned there was already a warrant out for Fitch's arrest for failing to appear in at a court hearing involving drug charges. He also has a lengthy criminal record including convictions for terroristic threats and assault.
Police say investigators have found the vehicle they were looking for in connection with Officer Patrick's death. St. Paul police announced the finding on Twitter late Wednesday afternoon. They did not say where the vehicle was found.
Police say they are following multiple leads and are asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. A reward is being offered.
Officer Patrick was a member of the Mendota Heights Police Department for 19 years and leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.
"He was a very dedicated police officer and a family man who absolutely adored his children," said Mendota Heights Police Chief Mike Aschenbrener.
Police say a nearby car chase on Interstate 494 Wednesday afternoon was not connected to the fatal officer involved shooting. Sgt. Jesse Grabow with the Minnesota State Patrol says that the chase began at 3:18 p.m. near Glenhill and Highway 110 and continued on eastbound Interstate 494 before it ended on the Lake Street exit. One person was taken into custody. Grabow says he did not know the reason for the chase.
Officer Scott Patrick Memorial Fund
A memorial fund has been established for Officer Scott Patrick's family. Donations can be at any Affinity Plus Credit Union location or by mail to the address here:
Affinity Plus Credit Union
175 West Lafayette Frontage Rd.
St. Paul, MN 55107