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Authorities identify man who died in fiery crash on Interstate 29 south of Grand Forks

Formal charges filed against man accused of killing police officer

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Mendota Heights, Minn., man accused of murdering police veteran Scott Patrick told police that he shoot the officer during a traffic stop. 

“Just to let you know,” Brian George Fitch Sr. told an officer in the hospital, according to court documents, “I hate cops and I’m guilty.”

The account of the shooting and ensuing manhunt was laid out in criminal charges filed Friday in both Ramsey and Dakota County courts. Fitch, 39, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 47-year-old Patrick’s slaying — one for premeditation and the other for killing an officer. He was also charged with a bevy of attempted murder, assault and gun felonies for allegedly shooting at officers once they tracked him down in St. Paul.

Fitch was expected to undergo abdominal surgery Friday. He was shot multiple times during his arrest. Court documents said he’s medicated and will be in the hospital for at least a week. 

At a news conference Friday, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced plans to convene a rare multi-county grand jury to streamline the cases against Fitch into one.

A conviction on either of those counts carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

The other charges, filed in Ramsey County, include three counts of attempted murder of a police officer, three counts of drive-by shooting, three counts of assault with a gun and a count of illegally possessing a firearm.

Fitch, who has a long criminal record, had multiple outstanding warrants when Patrick stopped him near the intersection of Dodd Road and Smith Avenue in West St. Paul, Minn., around 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Fitch’s remark about hating police and being guilty was made to an officer watching over him in Regions Hospital in St. Paul, the charges said. The charges don’t specify if Fitch said it after he was read his Miranda rights, but a spokeswoman for Backstrom’s office said it didn’t matter: Prosecutors will treat the remark as an utterance made freely and not under questioning. Such statements are generally admissible in court.