Fallen Terre Haute police officer identified as 16-year veteran

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Authorities in Vigo County have identified the police officer who was shot and killed last night.

Police said the officer’s name is Rob Pitts and he was a 16-year veteran of Terre Haute police.

Terre Haute police spokesman Ryan Adamson said the Pitts’s investigation of a homicide led him the apartment complex on the city’s south side. Authorities did not reveal when the homicide under investigation occurred.

Adamson said the suspect in that homicide opened fire when he was approached by four investigators, wounding Pitts who was later pronounced dead at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

“It is another tragic loss for the Wabash Valley and the Terre Haute Police Department,” Indiana State Police spokesman Joe Watts said in announcing the officer’s death.

Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse said the suspect was wounded in a shootout with officers from the city and other agencies, then barricaded himself inside the building. The wounded suspect was treated by medics who responded to the scene, but the suspect later died, Plasse said.

The suspect’s identity wasn’t immediately released.

During the standoff officials called the area dangerous and urged residents to avoid it. Watt said state police will conduct an investigation into the events leading up to the fatal shooting.

The death of the police officer is the first of officer with the Terre Haute Police Department since July 11, 2011. That is when Officer Brent D. Long was killed while serving an arrest warrant with a U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force.