Updated: 08/07/2014 7:25 AM
Created: 08/06/2014 6:18 AM KSTP.com
By: Megan Matthews
Friends, family and community members packed a West St. Paul church Wednesday to remember a father, husband and public servant who lost his life last week.
Nineteen-year Mendota Heights Police Department veteran Scott Patrick was shot and killed during a traffic stop Wednesday, July 30. He leaves behind a wife and two teenage daughters.
A funeral for Patrick was held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the family's long-time church, St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in West St. Paul. It’s the same place Patrick married his wife, Michelle, 26 years ago.
Along with law enforcement from across the state, Governor Mark Dayton and Senator Amy Klobuchar were at the funeral paying their respects to Patrick and his family.
Outside the church, thousands of people crowded the streets, waving flags, as the casket carrying Patrick was escorted to Acacia Park Cemetery, where Patrick was laid to rest.
The procession route was about eight miles long and went through West St. Paul and Mendota Heights, the places where Patrick spent most of his time. Those who planned the arrangements say seeing members of the public gather along that route can be one of the most powerful and comforting moments of the day.
"They feel it, they really feel it," Kevin Torgerson with Minnesota's Law Enforcement Memorial Association said. "People are showing signs and waving flags as the family goes by; the family always says how important it is to see that support from the community."
“[The family is] really trying to get a grip on it,” Mike Brue, Patrick’s half-brother, said before the visitation Tuesday, which was held at the same church. “It’s a rollercoaster ride for them.”
At the funeral, Brue said, "My brother knew the risks of the job...This big-picture problem solver was living a lot of his dream. Then in an instant, he's gone."
Mendota Heights officers shared memories of Patrick, saying no words can describe the devastation of losing a brother and a partner.
"Scott personified what community policing is all about. He never forgot where he came from. He never looked at himself as being better than anyone else," Mendota Heights police officer Robert Lambert said through tears. "The biggest lesson I have learned from him: to remain humble and deeply rooted in the values and morals that guide you...Scott, I love you, we love you. Rest now. We'll take your watch from here."
The first of two waves of the funeral procession began immediately following the funeral. It included law enforcement officials from around the state. They slowly drove along the eight-mile route as people lined the streets, holding flags and signs thanking Patrick for all he did for his community.
Squad cars started arriving at Acacia Park Cemetery just before 2 p.m. Officers got out of their squad cars and lined up in groups before walking to the burial site.
The second wave of the procession started just before 2:30 p.m. It traveled along the same route and included the Mendota Heights Police Department, Patrick's family and the hearse carrying Patrick and arrived at the cemetery just after 3 p.m. The casket was covered with an American flag and taken down to the burial site in a horse-drawn wagon.
The burial site was surrounded by family and row after row of law enforcement. They stood and saluted as the casket carrying Patrick arrived at the site.
During the burial service, there was a flyover and a gun salute.
The sounds of bells, airplanes and guns echoed throughout the cemetery as everyone there stood silent. Then, the final call was heard, "All units, Officer Scott Patrick, Badge 2231, is out of service. End of watch, July 30, 2014."
Minnesotans all around the state have been paying respect to Patrick. Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered U.S. and Minnesota flags at half-staff in his honor; the governor's order applies to all state and federal buildings in Minnesota from sunrise to sunset Wednesday.