(Photo by Paul Klauda, Star Tribune.)
His name is Jason.
He spends three to four hours every day, lighting and re-lighting candles at the makeshift roadside memorial where Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick was killed last week. Our Paul Klauda asked him why.
His story: Officer Patrick stopped him for speeding last December as Jason, who has brain cancer, left the hospital. He got a ticket, but also a 30-minute conversation that, in the wake of the officer's death, made him value the preciousness of life just a little bit more. Jason plans to be there on Wednesday, tending to the candles when the massive funeral procession bearing Patrick's flag-draped casket rolls by, escorted by hundreds of police cars. Jason said doctors told him he wouldn't live this long. He says he thankful for the chance to help others with whatever time he has left.
(Edit: Paul wanted to add that when he talked to Jason he was there more for personal reasons than as a journalist, having stopped by the memorial after attending the visitation and spending time with Scott Patrick's brother, who is a longtime friend.)
Photo by @startribune photog David Joles - a bagpiper plays along the procession route for the funeral of #Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick.