Terre Haute, IN – The memorial that has grown up around the police car of a murdered hero has a very special meaning to his five-year-old son.
Dakota Pitts has been visiting his father’s memorial every day since it was erected, WTHI-TV reported. His mother explained that that her son likes to visit the memorial because “me and dad really liked his car.”
Terre Haute Police Officer Rob Pitts was murdered on Friday night when a gunman opened fire on officers from a second story window as they were conducting a homicide investigation below.
Officer Pitts was rushed to Terre Haute Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Doctors later released that he had be killed by a single gunshot wound to the head, according to CBS4.
Several days after he was murdered, the Wabash Valley area continued to mourn the death of Officer Pitts, and shared their condolences in a variety of ways, WTHI reported.
Numerous citizens delivered flowers, cards, balloons, and flags to the site where the fallen officer’s black Dodge Charger patrol vehicle was displayed in his memory.
Officer Pitts’ son, five-year-old Dakota, has taken special comfort in the display and visited it daily.
The fallen hero’s family has said through the Terre Haute Police Department that they’re not ready to talk to reporters, but they wanted to share a special message Dakota’s mother said her son believed would help his dad see from Heaven, according to WTHI.
The message: “Dear Dad, I love you and I miss you so much.”
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb called the events surrounding Officer Pitts’ death “stunning and heartbreaking.”
“I ask Hoosiers around the state to join me in honoring Patrolman Pitts’ service and dedication,” the governor said in a press release, according to WTHR.