Chief John Plasse of the Terre Haute Police Department in Indiana, sadly reports the death of Officer Rob Pitts.

Officer Pitts was investigating a homicide that had occurred earlier in the day. Evidence and witness statements brought officers to the Garden Quarter Apartment Complex where the suspect was believed to be located.

Pitts, along with three additional officers, located the suspect when he suddenly appeared in a second floor window above the front door to the apartment.

From the elevated position, the suspect fired upon all four officers. Pitts was struck by rifle fire from the wanted man.

One report indicated Pitts was struck in the head.

Officers returned fire, wounding the suspect.

His partners pulled Pitts to a safety while they continued to engage the suspect in the gun battle.

Pitts was transported to the Terre Haute Regional Hospital were he succumbed to his gunshot wounds later in the evening.

After the initial gun battle, the suspect barricaded himself in the apartment. As a result, a SWAT team was called. SWAT team members found the suspect about three hours later, suffering from a gunshot wound.

After the scene was secured, medics provided medical care for the suspect. However, he later died of his wounds.

“People are engaging law enforcement and we are losing our lives,” Plasse said at a news conference. “He was a fine officer and he was going toward danger to help his fellow officers apprehend a homicide suspect.”

The shooting investigation is being conducted by the Indiana State Police.

“It is another tragic loss for the Wabash Valley and the Terre Haute Police Department,” Sgt. Joe Watts of the Indiana State Police said.

Pitts is the first Terre Haute officer to die in the line of duty since July 11, 2011. Officer Brent D. Long was serving an arrest warrant with a U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force when he was killed.

Gov. Eric Holcomb called the events surrounding Pitts’ death “stunning and heartbreaking.”

“I ask Hoosiers around the state to join me in honoring Patrolman Pitts’ service and dedication,” Holcomb said in news release.

Officer Rob Pitts served the Terre Haute Police Department for 16 years.

His family survives him.

Officer Rob Pitts is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Friday, May 4, 2018.

Rob Pitts

(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)