The tragic reason for boy's guard of honour on way to school


More than 70 police officers escorted five-year-old Dakota Pitts on his first day back to school after his dad was killed in the line of duty.

Heartwarming footage shows the youngster walking to the doors of his school, wearing his dad’s badge around his neck, flanked by dozens of officers standing in solidarity for the brave little boy.

His dad Rob Pitts was a 16-year veteran of the Terre Haute Police Department, in the US state of Indiana.

Dakota Pitts, the five-year-old son of Indiana police officer Rob Pitts, who was shot and killed by a homicide suspect, receives a guard of honour on his first day back to school following the tragedy. Source: WTHI-TV

He was one of four officers who were fired upon in an exchange of gunfire between police and a homicide suspect on May 4, the Terre Haute Police Department said.

The suspect was killed, while Officer Pitts died at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

The 16-year veteran of the Terre Haute Police Department was killed in an exchange of gunfire between police and a homicide suspect, on Friday, May 4. Source: AP

Dakota had asked his mother if one of his dad’s friends could drive him to school on Monday, for his first day back following the tragedy.

When he arrived, the schoolboy was met with around 70 police officers who turned out to support him.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts, left, consoles Terre Haute Chief of Police John Plasse, centre, at the scene of the fatal shooting. Source: AP

The SWAT Team even presented Dakota with his own SWAT shirt and badge.

“He will definitely know his dad was a hero,” Officer Pitts’ sister Kelli Jones told WTHI-TV.

“Blood doesn’t always make family and I think the blue family went above and beyond.”