TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) – A 16-year veteran of the Terre Haute Police Department has been identified as the officer killed in a shootout Friday night.
The Terre Haute Tribune-Star reports that Rob Pitts was one of four officers who were fired on when they approached an apartment complex to confront a murder suspect about 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Return fire injured the suspect. He then barricaded himself inside until special-response team officers entered at 9:20 p.m. Police later declared the suspect dead but have not identified him.
Pitts was rushed from the site but died at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.
Police spokesman Ryan Adamson said in a statement that Pitts is “deeply missed, but we are grateful for the time we had with him.”
Hundreds of people gathered, Saturday evening, in downtown Terre Haute for a prayer vigil honoring Pitts.
The vigil outside the Vigo County Courthouse came hours after many people lined the city streets as a hearse took Rob Pitts’ body from a hospital to a funeral home.
Jeanie West says she’s a former neighbor of Pitts and that he had a “heart of gold.”
His services will begin with public calling hours 2-7 p.m. Tuesday at Indiana State University’s Hulman Center. The funeral is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the arena.
Governor Eric J. Holcomb offered the following statement regarding Patrolman Rob Pitts:
“These tragic events in Terre Haute involving Patrolman Rob Pitts are stunning and heartbreaking. The sorrow Janet and I feel for his family, the Terre Haute Police Department and the Wabash Valley region is beyond words. I ask Hoosiers around the state to join me in honoring Patrolman Pitts’ service and dedication.”