Father of teen gunshot victim: “He was my little man” . . .
Note: Four teen killers have been apprehended and are standing trial – two have already been found guilty, and the others’ trials are set to begin soon.
FORT WALTON BEACH — While police continued to investigate the shooting death of a local high school student, his family gathered Friday at his home and wept for the loss of 17-year-old Christopher Pitcock.
“He was my little man. He was my baby,” said his father, David Pitcock, tears tracking down his weather-beaten face.
“And I miss him,” he sobbed. “I really miss him.”
Chris was found shot Thursday night in his 1987 Chevrolet Blazer in the front yard of a home on Lula Belle Lane.
He was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The case is being investigated by the Fort Walton Beach Police Department as a homicide. The man who found the Blazer and the teenager in his yard said Chris was slipping away as they waited for emergency crews to arrive. He told neighbors to hurry and call 911 because he said, “I think he’s dead.”
Chris’ family said they were called to the hospital and told Chris had been shot and that he hadn’t made it. They were not allowed to see him and were told not to plan services until next week. Dozens of Chris’ friends gathered there, mourning the passing of the boy who would do anything for anyone. Family friend Dustin Cooper called Chris an “awesome kid,” who worked hard for everything he had.
“He’s 17 years old,” Cooper added. “That’s the hardest part of the whole thing. He had his whole life ahead of him.”
Cooper said family members don’t know exactly where Chris was going or what he was doing when he was shot. The Pitcocks live more than a mile from Lula Belle Lane.
“You never saw him without a smile,” said his aunt, Paula Wood. “Never did he walk away from anybody without saying, ‘I love you.’ ”
He was a bit on the chunky side, his family recalled, smiling through their tears. His favorite food was banana pudding and he would call his aunt at random times and ask her to make it for him.
“He was so sweet,” Wood said.
Chris was his father’s only son, though he has two older half brothers.
As soon as he was old enough to start working, he focused on earning money to buy all of the things his family had done without during his childhood.
He bought the Blazer, which was his pride and joy, and for Christmas bought all of the presents for his four young nieces and nephews.
He worked in a lawn maintenance business with his father and did telemarketing.
His goal was to graduate from the Okaloosa Academy this spring, a year ahead of schedule. No one in his family had ever graduated early before, which is why that meant so much to Chris, his aunt said.
“Christopher David was murdered 461 days ago,” he said crying. “It’s been hard. Thirty minutes before he was saying ‘Daddy, I’ll be back. I love you, Dad.’
“Next thing you know the police are knocking on my door telling me my son’s dead.
“It’s been hard.”