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Police lights flash along Borman exit to remember Trooper Patrick

Members IndianState Trooper Color Guard presented colors  freezing rasite I 80 where IndianState Trooper Scott Patrick was shot down

Members of the Indiana State Trooper Color Guard, presented the colors in the freezing rain, at the site on I 80 where Indiana State Trooper Scott Patrick was shot down during duty on 12/22/03. The troopers and a crowd gathered on Saturday nite 12/21/13 to dedicate a plaque at murder site. | John Booz/for the Sun-Times Media

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Police lights flashed as friends and fellow police officers gathered to remember Indiana State Police Trooper Scott Patrick near the Borman Expressway Grant Street exit where he was shot and killed 10 years ago.

Standing along the westbound exit, troopers from the Lowell post of the Indiana State Police shared their memories. A sign was placed on the right hand side, marking the date Patrick was killed.

“Ten years ago tonight,” said Geoff Gruber, “a lot of lives changed. It was a rough night, but we all made it through the best we could.”

Gruber was the first man on the scene when Patrick, 27, was shot and killed. He had been dispatched to assist a motorist stranded at the Grant Street exit of I-80.

Gruber apprehended the suspect shortly after Patrick was shot.

Gruber said he remembers that day like it was yesterday, and no amount of time will ever cause him to forget.

“Weeks, months, years, it’s still very much a part of me,” Gruber said. “Just like everyone else here. It’s a big part of all of us.”

A cold, steady rain and near-freezing temperatures did nothing to keep away those determined to honor Patrick’s memory.

The blue sign shows has Patrick’s name and shows him in uniform from the shoulders up. It includes the date of his death, 12-22-13 and the words: “Lest We Forget.”

State Police Lowell branch commander Lt. Jerry Williams said his only concern was whether the rain would turn to ice.

“When you make the sacrifice that Scott made — the ultimate sacrifice,” Williams said, “the rain wouldn’t stop us from celebrating his legacy tonight.”

Williams and assistant branch commander 1st Sgt. Terrance Weens thanked state representatives Vernon Smith and Shelli VanDenburgh, INDOT regional director Robert Alderman, the Indiana Black Troopers Association and all others who helped make the memorial sign a reality.

Jamie Patrick, Scott’s brother, thanked those on behalf of the Patrick family.

“It doesn’t get any easier for us to come out here,” Jamie said, “but it does make it easier to see everyone out here show their support and Scott’s memory.

Melissa Patrick reflected on her husband’s life, thanking those who came out to show their support. Patrick’s son, Issac Scott Patrick, 9, and Patrick’s brother, Jamie, stood next to Melissa as she read from a small piece of paper — which slowly became drenched from the cold downpour.

“This memorial represents the honor, courage and integrity that Scott swore to uphold when he became a member of the Indiana State Police in June of 2000,” Melissa said. “Tonight we honor Scott’s sacrifice and remember Scott’s life. Scott’s life was an example of faith, family, brotherhood and service to others.”

Melissa also shared how Scott’s son shared so many qualities, including his mannerisms, intelligence and athletic ability.

Patrick never met his son Issac, who was born after he passed away.

Then she looked up and thanked everyone who came to show their support.

“Now anyone who drives by this place will see Scott’s face and know his story.”

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