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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:52:12 +0000
(WEST ST. PAUL, Minn.) -- A manhunt is on Wednesday in West St. Paul, Minnesota, for a man who shot a police officer to death during a routine traffic stop.
Authorities identified the officer as 47-year-old Scott Patrick. He had been with the Mendota Heights Police Department since 1995.
"We heard the shots and saw the cop lying there," Ryan Carpentier told the Star-Tribune. "He was completely motionless."
Patrick had a wife and two teenage children. He was the first officer from the Mendota Heights Police Department to be killed in the line of duty.
Mayor Sandra Krebsbach said Patrick was the department's "most senior officer."
The suspect was identified as Brian Fitch Sr., 39, of South St. Paul. He was driving a green Pontiac Grand Am, according to witnesses who reportedly saw the suspect race from the scene. Authorities have launched a dragnet for the vehicle, and were also seen searching door-to-door with automatic rifles drawn.
The fatal shooting is the latest in a surge of violence against police -- more than 70 officers have died this year. Police killings by firearms are up 65% this year after a historic low in 2013.
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