TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- When the son of a fallen Terre Haute, Indiana police officer went back to school Monday, May 14, 70 of his father's coworkers were there in uniform to show their support.
Dakota Pitts headed back to school Monday for the first time since the death of his father, Officer Rob Pitts -- who was killed in the line of duty.
Dakota wore his dad's badge and he was given a SWAT shirt by officers.
"He will definitely know that his dad was a hero. Blood doesn't always make family, and I think the blue family just went above and beyond," said Kelli Jones, Officer Pitts' sister.
"Dakota asked his mom if one of his dad's friends could take him to school, so she kind of reached out to Rob's friends and family," said Les Ham, Terre Haute Police Department detective.
Officers said they want Dakota to know they'll always be there to support him.
Officer Pitts, 45, was killed during a shootout with a homicide suspect on Friday, May 4. He and other officers approached Christopher Wolfe, 21, who died of a gunshot wound after barricading himself inside an apartment. Wolfe was suspected of fatally shooting a 26-year-old man at a home in Terre Haute. Wolfe was armed with a handgun and fired at the officers, striking Pitts.
He was a member of the Terre Haute Police Department for 16 years, following six years with the police force in the nearby city of Sullivan, where he lived and was buried.
He leaves behind son Dakota and another son and daughter.
During a memorial gathering for Officer Pitts, colleagues and friends told stories about Pitts as a modest, hard-working officer whose mother wasn't aware of the many department honors he had received.