MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Thousands turned out Tuesday night to say goodbye to fallen Mendota Heights’ police officer Scott Patrick.
He was killed in the line of duty last week while making a routine traffic stop. The visitation at St. Steven’s Lutheran Church in West St. Paul was the public’s opportunity to pay their respects.
The Patriot Guard lined the street to honor the fallen hero.
“Sometimes you wonder if it’s worth the cost. You get sad about it, I get sad,” said Chief Deputy Tim Leslie with the Dakota Co. Sheriff’s Office.
Patrick’s flag-draped casket arrived for his final tribute at St. Steven’s Lutheran Church.
“I bet you there are tears in every car, every car in the procession there’s tears,” said Dan Scheuermann with the Dakota Co. Sheriff’s Office.
Friends, neighbors and strangers had their chance to say goodbye to a man who paid with his life while protecting the community.
“He was a special person in everybody’s hearts,” June Haugen said. “Little pieces that they remember or big pieces, parts of their lives, and he did so much. He was an unbelievable man.”
Angered by the loss and overcome with grief, Ron Ryan Sr. and his wife try to attend the visitation of every fallen officer in the state.
Their son was killed in the line of duty 20 years ago.
“We talk and tell them that they’ll always have a hole in their heart but things get better, not real soon, but it will,” Ryan said.
Half-brother Mike Brue said the community support is what’s getting the Patrick family through.
“I was his best man, but Scott in fact, was the better man,” Brue said.
Classmate Aaron Telander hoped to comfort Patrick’s two daughters.
“I think that just being there for a friend and being there for other people…can be stronger than words,” Telander said.
Speakers at the funeral will include the Mendota Heights police chief, two fellow officers, Patrick’s brother and his wife’s sister. Singer Tim Mahoney will offer a special musical tribute.