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Investigators process a Mendota Heights Police SUV after an officer was shot during a traffic stop. / KARE - Sky 11

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. - A man wanted in the slaying of a Mendota Heights police officer is in custody after being shot by police. The officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon in West St. Paul, police said.

St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old suspect Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at officers Wednesday evening. Police returned fire, striking Fitch and an unidentified woman who was with him.

Paulos says Fitch's condition is unknown. The woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Police say Officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot in the head after he stopped a vehicle. He was taken to Regions Hospital where he died.

The shooting occurred at around 12:30 p.m. in West St. Paul. Mendota Heights, a suburb with about 11,000 residents, borders West St. Paul.

Witnesses reported hearing three shots. Chris O'Keefe, 51, of West St. Paul, said he saw police and paramedics giving a man CPR at the scene.

John Gouette, owner of Cherokee Service, told The Associated Press that he saw a dark green Pontiac Grand Am race past shortly after the shooting going more than 100 mph, with police in pursuit.

Police searched several residential neighborhoods in Mendota Heights Wednesday afternoon and evening, using officers from multiple police departments.

Patrick is the first Mendota Heights police officer to be slain in the line of duty. He leaves behind a wife and two teenage children. Mendota Heights Police Chief Mike Aschenbrenner said Patrick had been on the force since 1995.

"He was a very dedicated police officer and a family man who absolutely adored his children," Aschenbrener said.

Contributing: The Associated Press




Copyright 2014USA TODAY

Read the original story: Suspect shot, caught in slaying of Minn. police officer

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