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WJBD - National News - Suspect Held After Minnesota Officer Killed During Traffic Stop

Suspect Held After Minnesota Officer Killed During Traffic Stop

iStock/Thinkstock(WEST ST. PAUL, Minn.) -- A suspect in the fatal shooting of a West St. Paul, Minnesota, police officer Wednesday during a routine traffic stop is being held at a local hospital after a manhunt and shootout.

Authorities identified the deceased officer as Scott Patrick, 47. Patrick had been with the Mendota Heights Police Department since 1995.

The suspect, identified as Brian Fitch Sr., 39, of South St. Paul, was arrested in St. Paul Wednesday night after he opened fire on officers, according to Sgt. Paul Palos of the St. Paul police department. He was seen driving in the area after an alert for his car, a green Pontiac Grand Am, was issued, authorities said.

Officers fired back at the suspect and hit him, Palos said. An unidentified woman was with the suspect at the time, according to ABC affiliate KSTP.

"Authorities say Fitch recognized one of the unmarked squad cars and made a U-turn. One of the squad cars was able to pull in front of Fitch's car to stop him," the station reported.

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 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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