May 6, 2019 – In Breaking News – ABC News
An arrest has been made in the murder of an on-duty police officer who was gunned down in front of his police station.
Officer Robert McKeithen, a veteran of the Biloxi Police Department, was killed in an ambush shooting outside the Biloxi, Mississippi, police headquarters Sunday night.
After shooting McKeithen multiple times, the suspect escaped the area, said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller.
(Biloxi Police Chief John Miller is emotional as he remembers the man that Officer Robert McKeithen was before he was killed in the headquarters parking lot on May 5, 2019. The chief said he was a family man that served his community for 24 years. Courtesy of the Sun Herald and YouTube. Posted on May 6, 2019.)
On Monday night, authorities identified and arrested the suspect in the shooting, 19-year-old Darian Atkinson, on a charge of capital murder.
McKeithen, who was on the force for 24 years, was planning to retire at the end of this year, officials said Monday. A memorial service for him will be held Tuesday evening.
Gulfport, Mississippi, Police Chief Leonard Papania, whose agency is leading the investigation, said McKeithen was in uniform when the gunman approached him in the parking lot at about 10 p.m. on Sunday and opened fire.
We can confirm we just now received the warrant for the arrest. Press Conference is starting shortly. pic.twitter.com/UMinipQkeK
— Gulfport Police Dept (@GulfportPolice) May 6, 2019
Investigators released surveillance photos showing the male suspect, described as thin, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10, and wearing a black T-shirt, navy shorts and a red skull cap, as well as a video of the suspected shooter casually walking into police headquarters and appearing to smile at an officer in the lobby.
A $5,000 reward has been offered by Crime Stoppers for any information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the gunman.
The mortally wounded McKeithen was taken to Merit Heath hospital in Biloxi, where he died.
(Biloxi Police Officer killed Sunday night has been identified as 24-year veteran Robert McKeithen. Biloxi’s Police Chief says Officer McKeithen was due to retire at the end of the year. Courtesy of the WKRG and YouTube. Posted on May 6, 2019.)
Chief Miller said it was not immediately clear if the killer randomly selected McKeithen or if he specifically targeted the officer.
Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Officer McKeithen, both blood and blue. Thank you for your bravery in serving the citizens of Biloxi with pride and distinction. You will not be forgotten.
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