CAPTURED ALIVE: Officer McKeithan's Assassin In Custody

Officers were able to arrest the killer of Officer Robert McKeithan.

Wiggins, MS - The suspect in the late night assassination of Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithan has been arrested after being spotted in Wiggins.

Stone County Enterprise reports, Biloxi Police Officer Wheeler lives in the area where the suspect was eventually found.

Off-duty Officer Wheeler spotted the suspect, 19-year-old Darian Atkinson, in front of the Hampton Inn.

The officer called Wiggins PD and Sgt. Tim Hill and Patrolmen Tyler Roberts and Cody Rayburn responded and took Atkinson into custody at gunpoint, according to Stone County Enterprise.

Atkinson is now in custody on a warrant for the capital murder of Officer McKeithan.

The shooting occurred just after 10 p.m. on May 5 when the on-duty, uniformed officer was approached by an unidentified suspect in the parking lot of the Lopez Quave Public Safety Center on Porter Avenue, Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said, according to the Clarion Ledger.

The gunman then opened fire on the officer, shooting him multiple times before he fled the scene, WLOX reported.

The officer was rushed to Merit Health where he succumbed to his wounds just before midnight.

“It’s a very sad day for the city of Biloxi,” Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said during a press conference on Monday morning. “[Officer] Robert McKeithan… was murdered last night, right here in our parking lot.”

“The animal that did this is still on the run,” Chief Miller said.

Police released surveillance photos of the suspect, and have since identified him as 19-year-old Darian Tawan Atkinson.

There a warrant and a $35,000 reward was issued for Atkinson.

Chief Miller said that he did not have any details about the interaction between the officer and the gunman prior to the shooter opening fire, and it is unknown whether the attack was random or targeted.

“The assailant did enter the police department at one point,” Chief Miller noted, adding that the killer “seemed a bit nonchalant” about murdering the veteran officer.

The Gulfport Police Department and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office are leading the ongoing investigation.

Chief Papania said that Officer McKeithan’s murder was a “deliberate and violent attack” and that local, state, and federal law enforcement officers have been working "around the clock" to apprehend his killer.

Officer McKeithan, a 24-year veteran of the BPD, was an “unbelievably fine policeman,” Chief Miller said.

“Robert was always a very pleasant person. I don’t remember him ever having a scowl on his face,” he added. “He had a style of his own… he just seemed to connect with people.”

He was also one of five officers who received the Medal of Valor for saving four special needs children who otherwise “undoubtedly would have perished,” the chief explained.

“That’s the kind of guy he was,” he said. “He was very gentle [and] likeable. He treated people with respect and dignity.”

Officer McKeithan, who was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, planned to retire from the BPD at the end of 2019.

He leaves behind his wife, daughter, two stepsons, and a stepdaughter.

“He was a wonderful family man,” Chief Miller said. “I would ask that your prayers be with Robert and his family.”

Comments (35)
View Older Messages
Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

I am so glad the animal is in s cage where he belongs. I just wish we still had public hangings as a form of punishment, because if there was ever a case that deserved it here it is.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

anyone ever see the movie "ZULU" from 1964? ( BTW- great movie) Its beginning to seem like that as its just one after another after another after another after another...........

eman2000
eman2000

He just walked up to the officer and shot him multiple times, He should not have been captured! He should have been shot and killed while attempting to be taken into custody. No some Defense lawyer will bring up his mental status, his drug abuse or this family life and how he was abused as a child. Either way He should not have been taken into custody! DRT should be a norm when you shoot and kill a cop.

Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

I know that guy, that's Laquan Mahomed DINDONUFFIN. Comes for a LARGE family of DINDONUFFINS and all of them are "Trying to turn their lives around". I can hear it now, 'He was a good boy, who lived with his Grandmother cause mom isn't around much and does NOT know who his dad is.." Sick of hearing this crap.

Stanracer
Stanracer

The war on the police continues.....

Keagan Thomas
Keagan Thomas

Drag him behind the chemical shed, yell viva la revolucion, and put two in the back of his head.

Mrdan
Mrdan

They should let him out on bail with a GPS tracker & shoot him not enough to kill him at first but let him lay on the ground n die a slow painful death with the fallen officers gun screw this putting in prison while he wastes tax payers money with his appeals 1 bullet equals 1 less pos cop killer on the street

Libssuckroyally
Libssuckroyally

Don't have a trial just put him in front of a firing squad and make swiss cheese out of him

junkmansj
junkmansj

Before this is over he will be free, someone will forget to cross a "T" or dot a "I" because he is a "person of color"

61mouse
61mouse

Still don't understand how he was allowed in the police station with a gun, then to follow the officer out of station then shoot him ?? Do they not have metal detectors at the entrance ? Unless he hid the gun outside

Righthandman
Righthandman

Great job! Now the animal can face justice

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

As soon as that guilty verdict is read, take this no good sorry POS waste of oxygen out back and put a couple pieces of lead in his head!! Or hook him up to old sparky and fry his ass!! None of this 20+ years of f--king appeals while the tax payers feed and pay his medical. Hell to the no!!!

qazwiz
qazwiz

does the off duty officer get the reward or is it forfeited due to employment?

Sivaas_
Sivaas_

What a shame. Another waste of taxpayer's dollars that should've been shot on sight.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Dutchuncle mentioned -"...........Comes for a LARGE family of DINDONUFFINS and all of them are "Trying to turn their lives around".

"Tryin to turn his life around".......I hear you DU .....and yeah sure as if that makes them heroes since they obviously are complete Db's for letting their lives get so bad in the first place. These are excuses pure and simple and which the "community" love to throw out there to someway /somehow improve their public perception. The problem is they are not fooling anyone but themselves.