Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced that Brian George Fitch, age 39, of Mendota Heights, has been charged* today with two counts of First Degree Murder (Involving Intentionally Shooting and Killing a Peace Officer and Premeditation) in connection with the death of Officer Scott Patrick, age 47, of Mendota Heights. Three additional charges of attempted murder of three police officers involved in the shootout that led to the capture of Fitch in St. Paul have also been filed today, among other charges, in Ramsey County.
On July 30, 2014, Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick was conducting a traffic stop near Dodd Boulevard and Smith Avenue in West St. Paul when the driver of the vehicle opened fire. Officer Patrick was struck by all three shots which hit him in the leg, abdomen and head. He was pronounced dead after his transport to Regions Hospital.
Details pertaining to the murder charges can be found in the criminal complaint located at: Criminal Complaint Search. While in custody, mug shots can be viewed at: Inmate Search. Details pertaining to the Ramsey County charges are available through the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
“Officer Patrick had a strong passion to protect and serve his community and he did so with honor and distinction. He will be greatly missed,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to Officer Patrick’s family, his colleagues at the Mendota Heights Police Department and his many friends.”
“I am grateful that no further harm occurred to any of the brave officers that responded to apprehending the defendant Brian Fitch,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “As set forth in the Ramsey County Criminal complaint, this Defendant has a history of violence, hatred toward police officers and was willing to do anything, including commit murder, to evade capture.”
Backstrom and Choi thanked the West St. Paul Police Department and the St. Paul Police Department who have jointly led the investigation into this tragedy and the capture of the suspect. They were assisted by multiple other law enforcement agencies and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension who also deserve recognition for their extremely professional work under the most difficult of circumstances.
Brian Fitch will make his first appearance once he has recovered from his injuries.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.