Suspect in police officer’s murder is identified, still on run

Published 5:45 pm Monday, May 6, 2019

Mississippi law enforcement officers searching for a suspected cop killer have released the suspect’s name and photo.

Police said late Monday afternoon, the prime suspect in the killing of a Biloxi police officer is Darian Tawan Atkinson. He’s wanted on a charge of capital murder of a law enforcement officer.

Senior Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen was shot outside the police station late Sunday night. Authorities have been searching for his killer since.

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“Family and friends, anybody that’s trying to protect him, please turn him in,” Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson said.

While stopping short of saying he felt the suspect was being harbored by someone, Peterson said he felt someone was at least helping Atkinson.

Investigators said they do not yet know a motive for the shooting.

“That’s probably the saddest thing about this whole case is, no, we have no motive,” Peterson said.

Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania summed up the feeling of the law enforcement community at press conference late Monday afternoon.

“It’s a sick and deliberate act and it’s concerning,” he said. “We don’t see it often down here, but we will see justice.”