DALLAS Dallas police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman who were found in a residence near police headquarters on Wednesday afternoon.

The Crandall Police Department identified the man as 47-year-old Patrol Sgt. Nick Pitofsky and the woman as his wife Vanessa, 42. Crandall is 22 miles southeast of Dallas in Kaufman County.

Law enforcement sources told News 8 the incident appears to be a murder-suicide, with the police officer shooting the woman before turning the gun on himself

Dallas police went to the Pitofskys' two-story townhouse in the 1800 block of Browder Street to check on the couple's welfare shortly after noon Wednesday. It is unclear who called police.

Officers summoned Dallas Fire-Rescue to gain entrance to the home. Firefighters forced their way in and discovered the bodies inside; both had been shot.

'Nick was well respected by his peers and will be deeply missed by the city and department as a whole,' said a written statement from the City of Crandall. 'Nick was an energetic and jovial person who got along with everyone.' The statement called him 'extremely dedicated.'

'The Crandall Police Department would also like to send our condolences to the family of both Nick and Vanessa Pitofsky,' the statement added.

Nick Pitofsky had worked for the Crandall department for two years. He had been a reserve officer in the City of Dallas before joining Crandall.

In 2012, he was named Reserve Officer of the Year.

Court records show the Pitofskys married in December 2010.

News 8 was contacted by several of Vanessa Pitoksky's friends through e-mail. Many of them knew her through her work as an executive assistant for Wachovia and Wells Fargo bank for 18 years. She had recently started working for Sun Trust bank in a similar capacity.

'Vanessa was one of the most gentle and caring individuals anyone could have ever known,' wrote Esther Torres Anderson. 'Her smile brightened the day of every room she entered. Those of us that had the pleasure of being personal friends and co-workers of Vanessa are devastated by the loss of her spirit and presence.'

'Vanessa was a good friend,' wrote Victoria Varner. 'She always had words of encouragement for anyone that needed a lift to their spirit.'

Varner also wrote that Vanessa's friends are in 'disbelief and that she was the 'innocent victim of domestic violence.'

WFAA reporters Rebecca Lopez and Tanya Eiserer contributed to this report.

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