Police Identify Officer, Wife Found Dead in Dallas

Police say investigation into deaths is ongoing

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, Feb 27, 2014  |  Updated 1:56 PM CDT
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Dallas police confirmed Thursday that a Crandall police officer shot and killed his wife before killing himself.

Jeff Smith, NBC 5

Dallas police confirmed Thursday that a Crandall police officer shot and killed his wife before killing himself.

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Police Officer, Wife Dead in Possible Murder-Suicide

Dallas police are investigating the deaths of a Crandall police officer and his wife whose bodies were found inside a home in the Cedars neighborhood Wednesday.
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Dallas police confirmed Thursday that a Crandall police officer shot and killed his wife before killing himself.

The bodies of Sgt. Nick Pitofsky and his wife, Vanessa, were found inside a home in the Cedars neighborhood Wednesday.

According to the Dallas Police Department, a welfare check was requested at a home on the 1800 block of Browder Street shortly after noon. When officers arrived at the home, they requested the assistance of Dallas Fire-Rescue to break through the door.

Officers entered the home and found a man and woman, later identified as Crandall Police Officer Sgt. Nick Pitofksy and his wife, Vanessa Pitofsky, dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

Dallas police confirmed Thursday that they are treating the case as a murder-suicide. Police did not say what may have led up to the slaying.

Construction workers across the street from the home told NBC 5 they heard nothing strange in the hours before the bodies were found, including no loud noises or gunshots.  Guests at a nearby motel said the same.

Neighbors in the Cedars neighborhood told NBC 5 that though the couple was rarely seen together, they were nice people and there was never any hint of trouble.

According to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Pitofsky had been with the Crandall Police Department since May 2012.  Before that, he was an unpaid reserve officer with the Dallas Police Department from January 2008 to May 2012 and a jailer with the Dallas County Sheriff's Office from January 2007 until August 2007.

The Crandall Police Department issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

"It is with a heavy heart we regret to inform the public that Nick Pitofsky and his wife, Vanessa, were found deceased in their Dallas apartment on 2/26 by the Dallas Police Department.  Dallas PD is investigating the incident as a possible murder-suicide.  No other information has been confirmed by DPD at this time. Nick Pitofsky was a Patrol Sergeant for the Crandall Police Department and has been employed with the city for two years. Nick was well respected by his peers and will be deeply missed by the city and department as a whole. Nick was an energetic and jovial person who got along with everyone. Nick was an extremely dedicated Police Officer for the City of Crandall and its citizens. Sergeant Nick Pitofsky will be deeply missed by his fellow Officers. The Crandall Police Department would also like to send our condolences to the family of both Nick and Vanessa Pitofsky. "

A Dallas Morning News article published in February 2012 said Pitofsky was given the Reserve Officer of the Year Award by the Dallas Police Department.

The DPD said reserve officers are given uniforms and the power to make arrests with on duty with the department and are primarily used to assist in large scale events. The department said theses officers have a minimum commitment to work 16 hours a week for DPD.

According to information found on Facebook, Nick Pitofsky is survived by three children who live in Santa Rosa, Calif. 

History With Firearms

Pitofsky was active on YouTube and posted many video reviews of guns he tested for a channel called the "Scout Tactical Channel."

In the most recent video, posted on Feb. 22, Pitofsky tested a tactical shotgun that he said he had bought for his wife, Vanessa.

“I purchased this as a self-defense weapon for my household, essentially for my wife. This is your basic home defense shotgun," Pitofsky said on the video, which has now been removed from YouTube.

Eerily, when commenting about a flashlight he had attached under the barrel of the weapon, Pitofsky said, “There are instances where people have accidentally shot family members.”

Dallas police could not confirm which weapon had been used in the murder-suicide incident.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith, Ken Kalthoff and Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

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