Goodbyes begin for fallen Officer Scott Patrick - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Goodbyes begin for fallen Officer Scott Patrick

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WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

For several hours on Tuesday, hundreds of mourners lined up for the visitation service of fallen Mendota Heights Officer Scott Patrick. His funeral will follow on Wednesday -- one week after he was killed in the line of duty in West St. Paul. After that, a public procession will travel down Dodd Road across Highway 110 for community members to say their goodbyes.


Loved ones built a makeshift memorial in West St. Paul

Officer Patrick, 47, was fatally shot in the line of duty during a routine traffic stop last Wednesday near Dodd Road and Smith Avenue. He leaves behind a wife and two teenaged daughters. Brian Fitch, 39, is facing first-degree murder charges in his death.

Visitation, funeral set

The funeral for Officer Scott Patrick will be held Wednesday, Aug. 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Stephens Lutheran Church (1575 Charlton Street, West. St. Paul). Visitation began at the church on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. and concluded at 8 p.m.

Just after noon, the flag-draped casket of Officer Scott Patrick arrived at the church with full law enforcement honors. It is the same church where Patrick married his wife and best friend 26 years ago.

"I was his best man," Patrick's brother, Mike Brue, recalled. "Scott, in fact, was the better man. Scott was a friend as well as a brother."

The only mourners allowed inside the main sanctuary of the small church will be family, dignitaries and Mendota Heights officers. Although there was no air conditioning in the hallways and the summer heat made it uncomfortable, mourners who came for the visitation stood silently and respectfully waited their turn to greet the family and say their final goodbyes. Those who will not enter the sanctuary will remain in overflow areas watching on television screens. After the Wednesday morning funeral, the crowd -- and up to 3,000 members of law enforcement -- will take the 7.8-mile procession to Acacia Park Cemetery.

"It's extremely important to honor what he has done, and for all law enforcement to pull together," Capt. Jim Rogers, of the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, said.

Officer Patrick will receive full law enforcement honors before his burial, including a low-level flyover of two state patrol helicopters. Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all flags at the state and federal buildings to fly at half-staff on Wednesday.

 

Brother: 'He was one of the rocks of the family'

When speaking with Fox 9 News, Brue choked up when he remembered brighter, happier days with his brother. He said he and his loved ones are grateful to see the community pour out support after the deadly shooting. A local boy scout troop even volunteered to make sure everything was just right for the solemn occasion.

"He was a perfectly imperfect man and he was one of the rocks of the family," Brue said.

The sanctuary has been decked out with huge bouquets, and long lines of mourners were waiting when the doors for the open-casket viewing opened at two. Meanwhile, a massive make-shift memorial has taken shape barely a mile away from church at the scene where Patrick was killed. The moving imagery is a powerful reminder of love amid the loss, but Brue said the final moments of his brother's life won't be what people remember.

"The circumstances of his death doesn't define his life, it merely concluded it," Brue told Fox 9 News. "Tragically, awfully, it concluded it."

Among the crowd of well-wishers Tuesday were county attorneys and police officers involved in prior deadly shootings. Many wore uniforms, others were simply community members who came to say a heartfelt thank you to their hero in blue.

"I think you're going to see -- in the next couple days, all over town -- how much this shocks people, how much it means to people," Boy Scout Troop Leader Mark Ellenberger said. "It's not what we want our community to be."

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