Updated: 08/02/2014 2:33 PM
Created: 08/01/2014 1:35 PM KSTP.com
By: Scott Theisen
Prosecutors have charged a man suspected of killing a Mendota Heights police officer during a traffic stop in West St. Paul on Wednesday.
Thirty-nine-year-old Brian George Fitch Sr. of Mendota Heights faces two counts of first-degree murder in Dakota County in the death of officer Scott Patrick, who was shot during a traffic stop near Dodd Road and Smith Avenue.
Fitch was also charged Friday in Ramsey County with three counts of first-degree attempted murder, three counts of drive-by shooting and three counts of second-degree assault for firing at police officers during a standoff eight hours after Patrick was killed.
The Ramsey and Dakota County attorneys plan to use a rare legal tactic against Fitch. It's called a multi-county grand jury, which means the charges would be combined. Residents of both counties would sit on the jury.
"We have convened one prior multi-county grand jury in Dakota County many years ago in the 1990s. I don't believe Ramsey County has ever done this. This is exactly the type of situation where I believe this process should be used," James Backstom, a Dakota County attorney, said.
According to the Dakota County criminal complaint, Fitch shot Patrick three times: once in the leg, abdomen and head.
A witness who heard the shots then used the officer's portable radio to call for help and announce there was an "officer down."
Authorities arrested Fitch later that day after a manhunt. He remained in serious condition Thursday with injuries he suffered during the shootout with police.
After Fitch was apprehended, he allegedly told a police officer standing guard at Regions hospital, "Just to let you know, I hate cops and I'm guilty."
Authorities say they may never know the reason for the traffic stop.
Court records show Fitch was wanted because he left a drug treatment program.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.