VIGO COUNTY, Ind. – Police have released the identity of the man accused of killing a Terre Haute police officer. Christopher Wolfe, 21, is accused of fatally shooting 16-year police veteran Rob Pitts during a standoff last week.
Wolfe was wanted for the murder of his roommate, Robert Paulie Olson, earlier in the day.
“Once in the Garden Quarters Apartments area the suspect was able to duck inside the apartment building,” said Indiana State Police Sergeant Joe Watts. “The officers went inside after the suspect was inside the apartment building and what we believe happened right now is once the officers entered the building the suspect appeared in an upper hallway and fired from an elevated position down onto the officers.”
Watts said investigators spent the weekend talking with witnesses who provided details about the fatal gun battle and background on Wolfe.
A check of Wolfe’s criminal record indicated on April 23, 12 days before the murder of Officer Pitts, the New Goshen man received a one-year jail sentence with all but one day suspended following his guilty plea to a charge of carrying a handgun without a license.
Watts said detectives collected evidence regarding both Wolfe’s and Pitts’ weapons from the crime scene.
“Everybody gets scared,” said Officer Ryan Adamson, who talked with Pitts about retirement over lunch just two days before the killing. “But I think it's fair to say Rob was an officer who was willing to take risks, maybe some more than others, and I can’t tell you that he didn’t know fear because every person has fear but he didn’t let that stop him from doing his job.”
Pitts was a THPD SWAT member who joined federal agents in a serious of orchestrated drug raids on the westside of Indianapolis two years ago.
He was also assigned to the U.S. Marshals Task Force and empowered to track down wanted fugitives.
Pitts’ car is covered with flowers outside of Terre Haute Police headquarters.
Charlene Magni drove 90 minutes from Bloomfield to pay her respects because, “My daughter and her husband and I’ve got four grandkids that live up here and I know that he’s one that’s been on duty a lot protecting them, keeping the streets clean for them.”
Visitation services for Officer Pitts will be held at the Hulman Center on the Indiana State University campus from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday with the funeral to follow Wednesday morning at 11 a.m.