Hundreds throng funeral for slain Biloxi police officer

Robert McKeithen

Fallen Biloxi policeman Robert McKeithen is being remembered as a "good cop" who took pride in his job.

Posted: May 13, 2019 5:02 PM

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi police officer who was shot to death on duty was "a good cop" who took pride in his job, the mayor of Biloxi said Monday at the officer's funeral.

Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich fought tears as he remembered Biloxi Patrolman Robert McKeithen, who was shot to death May 5 outside the Biloxi police station. McKeithen, 57, had been a police officer for nearly 24 years.

"From all accounts, Robert McKeithen was the epitome of what you would want in a police officer," Gilich said. "He loved his job. He took pride in representing the Biloxi Police Department. He was well-liked, a compassionate, caring professional who had the ability to connect with people. He was a good cop."

Hundreds of law enforcement officers joined other mourners at First Baptist Church in Biloxi. During the visitation before the funeral, McKeithen's body, dressed in his uniform, lay in an open casket, and people walked past to hug his wife and other relatives.

Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said during the service that he had never met McKeithen. However, he said those who knew the officer described him as "a man of honor" and "a man of integrity."

"His untimely death is a reminder that there is evil in the world," Reeves said. "But his life is a reminder that there are still men amongst us who are willing to face that evil to protect those who cannot."

McKeithen's supervisor, Lt. Thomas Goldsworthy, brought levity to the service by saying McKeithen was known for his smile and many nicknames, including "Old Man" and "Pop Pop." McKeithen enjoyed 3 a.m. coffee at Waffle House, and waitresses there personalized a coffee cup for him by writing "Robocop" on it.

Goldsworthy said that in the past couple of weeks, he and another officer went to that Waffle House, got McKeithen's coffee cup and used a permanent marker to add: "Policing since 20 B.C." Goldsworthy snapped a photo of the cup and sent it in a group text. McKeithen responded with good humor, saying, "'That's just wrong,'" Goldsworthy recalled.

"He told me he thought it was hilarious," Goldsworthy said.

McKeithen, an Air Force veteran, was buried at Biloxi National Cemetery.

Investigators have charged 19-year-old Darian Atkinson with capital murder in McKeithen's death. Atkinson's brother and three others are charged as accessories after the fact.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844951

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161002006
Mobile741871379
Madison53279732
Shelby38325368
Baldwin38068589
Tuscaloosa36009641
Montgomery34482781
Lee25550263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22451406
Etowah20013517
Marshall18777316
Houston17727425
St. Clair16875358
Limestone16135218
Cullman16044303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14968306
Talladega14189299
DeKalb12967269
Walker12020380
Blount10714192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10157194
Coffee9414192
Colbert9334208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7254201
Russell707765
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6932195
Franklin6340108
Chambers5783142
Marion5401130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318189
Cherokee317563
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254460
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184947
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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