The schoolboy was welcomed by 70 police officers. Picture: Kiley Thomas
The schoolboy was welcomed by 70 police officers. Picture: Kiley Thomas

Boy’s emotional return to school after losing cop dad

IT WAS tough for the son of a fallen American police officer to return to school on Monday, more than a week after his father died in the line of duty.

Dakota, the five-year-old son of policeman Rob Pitts, had only asked if one of his dad's friends could ride in his father's police car on his way to school, according to FOX59.

But when Dakota arrived, he was shocked to see who was there to greet him.

Around 70 Terre Haute police officers, where his dad used to work, and Virgo County Sheriff's deputies greeted Dakota at the door to show him support on his first day back.

"He will definitely know his dad was a hero," Mr Pitts' sister, Kelli Jones, told WTHI-TV. "Blood doesn't always make family and I think the blue family went above and beyond."

Mr Pitts was killed earlier this month in a shootout with a homicide suspect who later died from injuries he suffered in the crossfire, authorities said.

The suspect opened fire from a second floor Terre Haute apartment in the US state of Indiana after he was approached by four investigators, police said.

The suspect had been linked to an earlier homicide.

Mr Pitts was the first Terre Haute officer to die in the line of duty since July 2011. He was a 16-year veteran of the police force.



- With AP

This article originally appeared on Fox News and has been republished here with permission.