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Highway dedicated to North St. Paul officer killed in line of duty

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A North St. Paul police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2009 is being honored by having a highway in that city named after him.

The section of Hwy. 36 was renamed Officer Richard Crittenden Sr. Memorial Highway, and a ceremony to unveil the new highway sign was held at North St. Paul City Hall Sunday, the fifth anniversary of Crittenden's death, KSTP reports.

Crittenden was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance call on the morning of September 7, 2009, when a man was attempting to attack a woman at a North St. Paul apartment. Crittenden was one of two officers to step in. 

The suspect gained control of Crittenden’s gun and fatally shot him. The suspect then got into a shootout with Crittenden's partner, who shot and killed the suspect, MPR News reported. Crittenden's partner suffered a minor bullet wound.

An official with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension told MPR it was a “very intense, and very violent battle.”

The department unveiled a memorial statue for Crittenden a year after his death.

Crittenden, who was 57, had served with the North St. Paul police department for nine years, and the Wabasha County Sheriff’s Department before that. He also served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Crittenden was the first North St. Paul police officer killed in the line of duty.

Members of his family attended Sunday's ceremony and said they were pleased that Crittenden is being honored, according to KARE 11.

A measure to rename the highway for Crittenden was approved by the Legislature this session and signed into law by Gov. Dayton in April.

Just five weeks ago, Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick was killed in the line of duty by a suspect described as a "career criminal," who shot Patrick after the officer pulled him over for a traffic stop. The suspect, Brian Fitch Sr., is facing two counts of first-degree murder and several other charges. He is being held without bail.

Prior to Patrick, the last Minnesota law enforcement officer fatally shot in the line of duty was Cold Spring Officer Tom Decker in 2012. Here’s a list of fallen Minnesota officers.

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