Updated: 07/31/2014 10:20 PM
Created: 07/31/2014 5:38 PM KSTP.com
By: Tom Durian
The memorial at the site where Mendota Heights Officer Scott Patrick was shot and killed Wednesday continues to grow. Since the early evening hours after the scene was cleared, people have been stopping by to drop off flowers and other mementos.
The family of Officer Patrick is touched by the outpouring of support from the community.
Officer Patrick's niece Samantha Stella tells us the family is shocked by the sudden and horrible loss. Stella learned of her uncle's passing through a phone call from her father.
Stella says her uncle was a great family man and a great person who will be missed by many.
Meanwhile, Sean Sherman and his friend David Wheeler are staying at the site around the clock to make sure the candles stay lit and everyone who visits is respectful.
"There's a lot of brothers in this area to this guy. We've seen cops from all over the place. We're just making sure when they come, we shake their hand, we thank them. I send my condolences. I've had hugs, I've had tears," Sherman said.
Sherman didn't know Patrick personally, but he ran in to him from time to time at the local Holiday gas station. That doesn't matter to him; he says "respect is given where respect is shown."
The Holiday gas station, just down the road from where Officer Patrick was shot, is a popular meeting point for Mendota Heights and West St. Paul police officers. Manager Tim Skaar remembers Patrick and says "he was here quite a bit, one of the more personable guys. Always had a smile on his face."
Laurie Haugh brought her daughters by to pay their respects. She remembers Officer Patrick as a man with a smile on his face.
Haugh was with her daughters when she was pulled over by Officer Patrick for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. She says she immediately apologized and then was surprised by Patrick's reaction.
"He said, ‘that's ok I'll give you a warning this time.' He just said you need to be a good example for your kids. I said, ‘you're right. I'll never do it again’."
The memorial is located on Dodd Road and Smith in Mendota Heights.