Fitch appears in court for charges in murder of Mendota Heights officer


Brian George Fitch Sr.
Brian George Fitch Sr., 39, appeared in Dakota County District Court Friday, after spending more than two weeks in the hospital for multiple gunshot wounds sustained in a shootout with police prior to his arrest in the fatal shooting of Mendota Heights officer Scott Patrick.
 
Patrick, 47, a married father of two daughters, joined the Mendota Heights Police Department in 1995. He was killed just after noon July 30 during what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop on Dodd Road near Smith Avenue in West St. Paul.
 
Investigators have said they will probably never know the reason for the stop. Fitch was in a car registered to someone else at the time, so Patrick likely was unaware he had pulled over a career criminal with warrants out for his arrest. 
 
The suspect, Fitch, was tracked down eight hours later, following a massive, multi-agency manhunt that ended with Fitch opening fire at police officers, who shot back, hitting Fitch several times. Fitch was transported to Regions Hospital.
 
In Dakota County, he was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and faces a lifetime in prison without parole.
 
In Ramsey County, he's facing up to a 20-year sentence for each of three attempted murder charges for shooting at three St. Paul officers, among several other charges. 
 
Fitch was booked at the Dakota County jail the morning of Aug. 15. After Fitch's initial court appearance, he was transported to the Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights in Stillwater, where he'll remain jailed until his next court appearance, according to the Dakota County Sheriff's Office.
 
With support from the Dakota County Attorney's Office, the sheriff's office urged the state Department of Corrections to act on the outstanding warrant they had issued for Fitch and put him in the state's custody, according to a statement.

 

—Kaitlyn Roby
 
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