Father killed in Jackson County remembered for being a protector, family man
Nick Pittman died after being shot Saturday, July 24.
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - As authorities continue to look for the man accused of killing a South Mississippi man over the weekend, the victim’s loved ones are still coping with the unimaginable loss.
Nicholas Pittman, 36, died after being shot multiple times Saturday at a home in the Latimer area, which is in the northwest part of Jackson County. Authorities say he was shot by Christopher Jerome Brown. Pittman was reportedly picking his son up at the home where Brown and the child’s mother live when an argument broke out, said Sheriff Mike Ezell.
On Tuesday evening, the beach in Gulfport was filled with people dressed in red and black, all there to honor Nick’s life and legacy. Nearly everyone who knew him emphasized that his love for his children is the biggest legacy he has left behind.
“He was a father before anything,” said his fiancee Tamika Coleman.
In September 2020, WLOX talked with Nick about his son Louis having sickle cell anemia. As he advocated to raise more awareness about the disease, Louis’ mother Evonne Gipson noted at the time what a great dad he was, saying: “(Louis) has a good support system and, most importantly, he has a good father that’s just there to just listen.”
For his young sons, the evening was filled with embraces as they shared memories of their dad.
“He was a great guy,” said 12-year-old Louis, who was there when his dad was shot. “He was always there for me. Like, we used to go to the trampoline park every single day... If I was having a bad day, he’d come get me...He was just a great person.”
“The jokes he made would make me laugh,” said Nick’s other son Anthony, who is a few years older than Louis. “It showed his true nature, how he’s funny... My daddy was always the best.”
Louis said his dad was always at every basketball and baseball game giving him encouragement from the sidelines. Now that their dad is gone, Anthony said he is going to step in to be role model for his little brother.
“I got to be there for (Louis) a lot more because he had it harder than me,” said Anthony. “I didn’t even get to see my dad when he died that day. I didn’t even get to see him, but my little brother, he saw him die.”
Nick and Tamika were together for more for 11 years. Most recently, they were living together and raising their children together, planning their future as husband and wife. No matter what direction they went in the past, their paths always came back to each other, said Tamika.
“It was easy to love Nick because he was me,” she said. “He was a family man. He took care of his family. He was a protector, period. He was the definition of the word protector. If he called you family, then he took care of you like you was his family... He was the best at everything he did. He dominated basketball, dominated football, dominated being a father, dominated being a man, dominated being a husband and a provider. He dominated everything he did.”
Tamika was at a funeral over an hour away when she got the call Saturday that Nick had been shot.
“I don’t know why it happened and I don’t know how it happened but they need to put (the guns) down... (Nick) wasn’t supposed to go like that,” she said while holding back her tears. “He was just too much to go down like that. It’s got to stop. The gun violence [has] got to stop.”
Nick’s brother Cordero Pittman led the prayer at Tuesday’s vigil, imploring everyone to love each other and lean on their faith to help get through hard times like this.
“Death is a struggle to a family that loses someone in this type of manner. I just pray that people will learn to love and embrace one another because tomorrow’s not promised,” said Cordero Pittman.
Nick’s celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 7 at Grace Temple Baptist Church in Gulfport.
As the family grieves the loss, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is still looking for Christopher Jerome Brown. They say he has connections to Gulfport and may be hiding in that area.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers. Anonymous tips can be made online or by phone at 877-787-5898. A reward may be offered for information leading to an arrest.
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