Whitson was a husband to Holly and the father of eight-year-old Jacob and five-year-old Hannah.
Whitson pulled extra duty as a security guard at Dillard's department store, where he became familiar with Dillard's employee, Rita Lawrence.
Lawrence says a former co-worker told her that Whitson had just worked last Sunday. She says they enjoyed Whitson's company during their shift at Dillard's, even giving him a nickname.
"Red... we called him Red because of his curly, red hair he had. He was such a nice person," Rita Lawrence says.
Lawrence along with others, regret what Whitson's wife and two young children are going through. She says he was very proud of both of his children.
Whitson's son shares his same red curly hair and earned the nickname "Little Red" from the women who worked at Dillard's.
"When you know somebody like that, when something happens to them its just devastating," Lawrence expresses.
Governor Fletcher has ordered flags to remain at half staff at all state buildings in honor of Officer Whitson. Visitation for Officer Whitson will be at Hillvue Heights Church, Friday morning from 11:00 AM until 8:00 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM.