WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — One month ago Saturday, Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick was killed in the line of duty.
A makeshift memorial on the site of the shooting remains in front of A & J’s Garage, near the intersection of Smith Avenue and Dodd Road in West St. Paul.
The memorial was once about as long as a police squad car, with balloons, signs, photos and candles that would remain illuminated for long periods of time.
It’s more compact now. There is a large photo of Officer Patrick on a piece of cardboard. Above it are the words, “In Loving Memory.”
The day he was shot is marked with “EOW,” which stands for “End Of Watch.” There’s also a sign from the officer’s family, thanking the community for its support. There’s also a note on the reverse side, which says Patrick is missed on “Wednesday Garage Night.”
Volunteers have kept the grass short and dug out the weeds around the memorial. Melted wax from candles that burned on the site still stains the curb.
The memorial is small but dignified. There are no plans to remove it, according to Jim Remington, who owns A & J’s Garage.
“The mayor was in and talked to me, and actually apologized for the inconvenience he thought that it was causing me,” Remington said. “I told the mayor and Scott’s widow that if they would like, it could stay there all summer long, for as long as they like.”
He says even the change of seasons won’t change his plans.
“Obviously, the snow will cover it up. But until then, I am fine with it,” Remington said.
Patrick’s killer, Brian Fitch Sr., faces 12 criminal charges in two counties.