No one who encountered Sergeant Nick Pitofsky while he patrolled the streets of Crandall would have predicted that he'd wind up as the perpetrator of a murder-suicide, fatally shooting his wife, then himself at their home in the Cedars.
Understandable that the first response from his Crandall PD colleagues would be to describe him as an "energetic and jovial person who got along with everyone" and was "well-respected by his peers." It's a hard thing to digest, the prospect that a otherwise decent person might be capable of murder.
But inviting people to the town gazebo to "Come say farewell to the man who served Crandall" at a candlelight vigil? That's a bridge too far.
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Fox 4 reported the vigil on its 5 p.m. newscast on Thursday. They did find one guy, a high school kid by the looks of him, who supports the vigil. He offered this eloquent defense:
"A lot of people like him, all the other police officers did. It's a bad thing that happened but -- it was tragic, you know. I don't know if it would offend anyone -- you know what I'm sayin'?"
By 10 p.m., though, the unnamed organizers had cancelled their plans, saying the vigil had turned into a "fiasco." Ceremonies honoring suspected wife-killers have a tendency to do that.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.