MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Family members of the Mendota Heights Police officer killed in the line of duty remember his love of family and the job.

Officer Scott Patrick was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon while performing a routine traffic stop.

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“It’s unbelievable. You can’t even think of how this could happen,” said Shane Patrick, the officer’s nephew. “He was just a day in his life and doing what he does, his normal job, and to have it happen like this, I can’t comprehend how this could happen. I really can’t.”

Just six years younger than his uncle, Shane grew up with his uncle Scott. Shane said that a career in law enforcement was a natural fit for his uncle.

“What strikes me the most of why he’s a police officer is because he was such a protector of the family,” Shane said. “He always protected his brothers, even his older brothers.”

A 19-year veteran of the Mendota Heights Police Department, Patrick worked as a street cop and had a great reputation in the community.

“Scott was a good guy,” his nephew said. “He did his job, but he didn’t make you feel bad. He actually put people at ease.”

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While his job was his passion, his family was his heart. Shane says he hopes his uncle is not only remembered as a good officer, but for his love of family.

“He was a family man, first and foremost,” Shane said. “He loved his job and career. He loved his work. He loved what he was doing, but he loved his family. His wife, Michelle, and two kids, my heart just breaks thinking of them, how they’re going to go on without their dad.”

A growing memorial shows the impact he had on those who knew him and those that didn’t. Visitor after visitor brought flowers, balloons and candles to offer their condolences and pay their respects to Patrick.

Shane says the family is grateful for the community support.

“It shows how tight the community really is,” he said.

A memorial fund has been set up for officer Patrick by the Mendota Heights Police Department. Donations can be made here:

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Officer Scott Patrick Memorial Fund
Affinity Plus Credit Union
175 West Lafayette Frontage Rd.
St. Paul MN 55107