Charges: Man who shot officer said: ‘I hate cops’

MINNEAPOLIS — A man charged Friday with killing a Mendota Heights police officer and firing at others during an eight-hour manhunt allegedly told police, “I hate cops and I’m guilty,” according to court documents.

Brian George Fitch Sr., 39, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of Officer Scott Patrick. Prosecutors say he shot Patrick in the head, leg and abdomen as Patrick approached his car during a traffic stop Wednesday in West St. Paul.

Fitch was also charged with 10 other counts — including attempted murder, drive-by discharge of a firearm, and assault — after a shootout with police in St. Paul. Fitch was shot eight times.

After being taken to a local hospital, Fitch looked at the officer guarding him and said: “Just to let you know, I hate cops and I’m guilty,” according to the charging documents.

Fitch is expected to remain hospitalized for at least another week. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

The court documents released Friday also revealed other new details in the case, including that efforts were allegedly made to hide Fitch’s car and that he switched vehicles after the shooting.

According to criminal complaints in Dakota and Ramsey counties, Fitch sped away in his Pontiac Grand Am after shooting Patrick as the officer approached the vehicle during a traffic stop around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday in West St. Paul. Several people tried to help the officer, including one who used Patrick’s radio to say there was an “officer down.”

Officers found the Grand Am hours later, covered with a tarp and parked in the yard of a St. Paul home. A man and woman told investigators that Fitch had asked them to hide it. Fitch borrowed the woman’s Hyundai Veracruz and left, according to the criminal complaint.

Confidential sources later told police that Fitch was in St. Paul, and after a brief pursuit, he fired at officers and they returned fire. The documents allege that Fitch was firing repeatedly and “made no signs of wanting to give up or surrender.”

A woman with him also was shot and suffered wounds that weren’t life-threatening to her leg and elbow, the complaint says.

Another man was also in the Veracruz but jumped out before Fitch began firing. He told police that Fitch instructed him to say he went to Canada, and threatened to kill him if he said otherwise. The man also told investigators Fitch wouldn’t let him out of the car, but he jumped as Fitch raised his gun toward police.

Officers seized a 9 mm handgun, which had been reported stolen, a .22 caliber pistol, and a large quantity of methamphetamine. A 9 mm shell casing was found in the Grand Am, according to the charging documents.

It’s unclear what prompted the initial traffic stop. Fitch had just purchased the car and it was not registered to him. Court records show Fitch was wanted because he had left a drug treatment program that he asked to enter so he could avoid prison for terroristic threats and fifth-degree assault.

He has an extensive criminal record and faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted on a separate drug charge.

Funeral services for Patrick will be held Wednesday morning in West St. Paul.

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