Scott Patrick was more than a cop, more than officer No. 2231.
He was one of those kids in the herd of neighborhood kids who stomped the grass to dirt in the back yard down the block. He was the clever high schooler who created a “job application,” complete with references, to persuade a shy, pretty girl with a nice smile to go on a date.
He was the “regular guy” who nonetheless could draw up his own blueprints, remaking his parents’ lake place — and designing his own home. And he was the little brother who was so levelheaded, so stable, so full of common sense that a sibling 10 years his senior not only relied on his advice, but cherished his friendship.
So, while thousands on Wednesday will mourn the loss of a veteran and affable police officer, the family and friends of Scott Patrick have lost so much more.
“Scott was an anchor, a central focus point for our family,” said Mike Brue, one of 11 boys in a blended family that lived near Charlton and Baker streets on the West Side of St. Paul. “Before this — and still — he’s really the better man. He was imperfectly perfect.”
Patrick, 47, was shot and killed July 30 while making a traffic stop near Dodd Road and Smith Avenue in West St. Paul.
A career criminal with a warrant for his arrest is accused of shooting the 19-year veteran of the Mendota Heights department as Patrick approached the rear of the suspect’s car.
A big, blended family
His colleagues have described him as easygoing, laid-back, a cop who could set anyone’s mind at ease with a quick and genuine smile. But long before he became a peace officer, Patrick learned how to make his way in a crowded and loud home.
Richard and Patricia Patrick married in 1966. It was the second marriage for each. Patricia had been divorced and had two boys; Richard was a widower with seven sons of his own. Together, they added another couple of boys — Scott Patrick coming along in January 1967.
The Patricks had a full and busy house on a block of full and busy houses, said Gene and Rita Marquardt, who lived nearby.
“There must have been 40 to 50 kids just on our block,” Rita said.
Said Gene: “One day, I counted 24 in our yard alone. And we had no pool. We had no grass, either.”
Rita Marquardt said she remembers the family “as a bunch of kids, a whole lot of boys, in the neighborhood. But they were good kids.”
Scott Patrick, like many of his older brothers, went to St. Paul Humboldt High School. It was there that he met a shy girl named Michelle Peterson. That was where he came up with the idea of the application, Mike Brue said.
“When he sets his mind to do something, he’s creative.”
And it was there, while volunteering with the St. Paul Police Reserves, that he got the idea of becoming a police officer.