SWAT team arrests suspected cop killer in St. Paul - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

SWAT team arrests suspected cop killer in St. Paul

Posted: Updated:
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

On Wednesday night, dozens of officers -- including a SWAT team -- descended on Sycamore and Rice streets in St. Paul after a suspected cop killer apparently opened fire on officers after escaping a neighborhood near the intersection of Baker and Livingston, where the car used in the crime was found.

Reporter Karen Scullin observed officers take someone into custody shortly after 6 p.m., but police would not confirm if the arrest was related to the fatal shooting of a Mendota Heights police officer earlier in the day. One thing, however, is certain: There were a lot of cops in St. Paul.

MORE: Mendota Heights Officer Scott Patrick, 47, shot during traffic stop

A large area was blocked off while SWAT officers moved in on a home after the green Grand Am believed to have been involved in the West St. Paul shooting was found in the back yard. A woman who lives inside the duplex said her mother and 1-year-old daughter was in the upstairs unit when officers arrived, and a suspect could be in the lower unit; however, police later determined that the area was clear.

Residents in the area began to gather at the corner of Lexington and Morton as they watched SWAT team operations go down the street in the search for 39-year-old Brian George Fitch Sr. After the dinner hour, however, police refocused their search about 3 miles away across the Mississippi River.

IN CUSTODY: Brian George Fitch Sr.

At about 8 p.m., police began setting up a new perimeter in the area of Sycamore and Rice streets after an suspect chase ended in that area. Dozens of police vehicles could be seen lining the roads from SKYFOX9 as police began to gather near a silver vehicle that was riddled with bullet holes, many of which could be seen in the windshield. 

By 8:15 p.m., police had deployed a Bearcat to Sycamore, and officers parked the armored vehicle directly alongside the silver van. Fully outfitted SWAT officers surrounded the van with guns drawn before removing an injured person from the passenger side of the vehicle. Fox 9 crews watched as paramedics arrived. Soon after, an ambulance left the scene with a police escort. 

At a press briefing just before 9 p.m., police confirmed that Fitch is now in custody and is currently being treated at Regions Hospital. Police apparently spotted him inside the silver minivan -- but he spotted them too. Officers say Fitch opened fire on one officer who had gotten out of his squad, and other officers returned fire. Both Fitch and the woman inside the van were struck. His condition is not known, but police say the woman has non-life-threatening injuries.

According to police, members of the public were "absolutely phenomenal" in providing tips that led to Fitch's arrest.

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