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UPDATE: Suspect’s brother charged in death of Biloxi police officer

Davian Atkinson (left) Darian Atkinson (right) Photos courtesy of the Harrison County Sheriff's Office.
Photos courtesy of Harrison County Sheriff’s Office

Update: 7:45 a.m. Tuesday

The brother of the man accused of killing a Biloxi police officer is now in jail.

Davian Atkinson, 21, has been charged with accessory after the fact in the shooting death of Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen.

Davian was booked into Harrison County Jail around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning following the arrest of his brother, 19-year-old Darian Atkinson who is accused of ambushing a police officer in front of his own police headquarters and shooting him multiple times then running away. Police say they believe Davian helped his brother during the day-long manhunt. Davian’s bond has been set at $500,000. His brother Darian was denied bail.

Update: 9:15 p.m. Monday

Biloxi police have announced the arrest of 19-year-old Darian Atkinson.

During a press conference at 9 p.m. on Monday evening,  Biloxi police arrived in a police cruiser with Atkinson in handcuffs. Atkinson is being charged with capital murder in the Sunday night shooting death of Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen.

Atkinson was spotted by a Biloxi Police officer who was driving home in Wiggins. The officer contacted the Wiggins PD and they arrested him. More arrests in connection with the case are pending as Chief John Miller says they believe Atkinson had help during the day-long manhunt.

When Police brought Atkinson back to the station, he was escorted in and could be seen smiling.

“We brought him in through the front parking lot, and we had all the Biloxi policemen were lined up there, behind them were Biloxi firemen, behind the firemen were all the other agencies that had spent the last day looking for him,” said Chief Miller. “We feel very vindicated that we were able to get him arrested, and get him off the street before he harmed someone else.”

Update:  6:10 p.m. Monday

During a press conference, officials identified the suspect as 19-year-old Darian Atkinson, and he will be charged with Capital Murder related to the death of Officer Robert McKeithen, a 24-year veteran of the Biloxi Police Department.

Atkinson is to be considered armed and dangerous.

Original Report: 

A Biloxi police officer is dead after being shot multiple times late Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. During a press conference, Monday morning, Biloxi Police Chief John Miller identified the officer as Robert McKeithen. This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

“It’s a very sad day for the City of Biloxi,” said Chief Miller. “A 24-year veteran of our department was, and there’s no easy way to say this, was murdered last night, right here in our own parking lot.”

McKeithen was shot outside of the Biloxi Police Department headquarters around 10:30 Sunday night. Police are saying the suspect approached an on-duty uniformed officer then proceeded to shoot the officer multiple times and then ran off.

Photos courtesy of the Biloxi Police Department.

Miller went on to speak about McKeithen’s service to the City of Biloxi and to the U.S. Air Force.

“During Katrina, Robert with four other officers was awarded the medal of valor for saving four special needs children,” said Miller. “It’s the kind of guy he was.”

Miller went on to say that McKeithen was planning on retiring at the end of the year. He leaves behind a wife, a daughter, two stepsons, and a stepdaughter.

The Gulfport Police Department has taken over the investigation and police are still searching for the suspect who is described as a black male between 5’7′ and 5’10” wearing a black t-shirt, navy blue shorts, and a red skull beanie.  The officer, whose name has not been released yet, died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Police confirmed that the assailant entered the police department at one point.

“The animal that did this is still on the run,” said Miller. “We are going to do everything within our power to bring him to justice for Robert and his family and for the men and women of the Biloxi Police Department and for the Citizens of Biloxi.”

Leonard Papania is the Gulfport Police Chief and said their force will work alongside the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office on the active investigation saying they have been joined by their federal and state partners.

“Anytime you have this kind of deliberate and violent attack on a police officer especially right in front of a police station, it should cause everyone great concern,” said Papania. “We are going to be working on this around the clock.”

Anyone who has any information on the suspect should contact Crime Stoppers or the Gulfport Police Department. Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the murder or McKeithen.

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