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The Latest: Chief says officer driving home spotted suspect

May 7, 2019
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This undated photo provided by the Biloxi Police Department via the City of Biloxi, Miss., Public Affairs Department shows Darian Tawan Atkinson. Police on Mississippi's Gulf Coast said late Monday, May 6, 2019, that they have captured Atkinson, a suspect in the slaying of a uniformed officer gunned down outside a Biloxi police station, concluding a tense manhunt. (Biloxi Police Department/City of Biloxi Public Affairs via the AP)

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on the killing of a Biloxi police officer (all times local):

10 p.m.

A Mississippi police chief says one of his officers driving home spotted the suspect wanted in the fatal shooting of a Biloxi police officer, leading to the 19-year-old’s arrest 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of the crime scene.

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller says the officer was driving home through Wiggins when he saw a man on the side of the road who looked like Darian Tawan Atkinson. Miller says the officer called Wiggins police, who arrested Atkinson before sunset Monday on a capital murder charge. Atkinson is accused of fatally shooting Biloxi Patrolman Robert McKeithen Sunday night in the parking lot of the coastal city’s police station.

Miller says he’s not sure how Atkinson got to Wiggins, but says he expects at least one other person will be arrested on charges of illegally aiding Atkinson.

Atkinson arrived in a police cruiser at the same police station where the shooting took place, and was walked inside for questioning before reporters with a row of cheering officers watching. It’s unclear whether Atkinson has a lawyer or when he will see a judge.

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9:15 p.m.

Police say they have captured a Mississippi man wanted in the fatal shooting of a Biloxi police officer.

Gulfport Police Sgt. James Griffin says Darian Tawan Atkinson was captured Monday evening in Wiggins. He’s wanted for capital murder in the slaying of Biloxi Patrolman Robert McKeithen. The officer was shot Sunday in a parking lot outside the Biloxi police station, launching an intensive manhunt on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

A police station surveillance camera took a picture of a man that Griffin says was later identified as Atkinson through tips and interviews. The picture was taken before officials say Atkinson shot McKeithen. Biloxi Police John Miller handed the investigation to Gulfport police, saying it was better that a different agency investigate the death of a Biloxi officer.

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6 p.m.

Mississippi authorities have released the name of a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Biloxi police officer.

Police told a news conference Monday evening that Darian Tawan Atkinson is wanted on a murder charge in the slaying of Patrolman Robert McKeithen. The officer was shot Sunday in a parking lot outside the Biloxi police station.

Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said Atkinson remains at large and “is a genuine threat to this community.” Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson says investigators still don’t have a motive.

A police station surveillance camera took a picture of a man before the shooting death of McKeithen. Officers have appealed for help in arresting Atkinson, and a reward offer has risen to $35,000. Police were seen searching some apartments in the Biloxi area Monday.

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4 p.m.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says investigators believe they have identified the man accused of shooting and killing a Biloxi police officer.

Bryant told the Sun Herald that investigators know who they are seeking as the governor visited the Biloxi police headquarters on Monday afternoon. Authorities haven’t released a suspect’s name.

Biloxi Patrolman Robert McKeithen was shot to death in the police station’s parking lot Sunday night.

A police station surveillance camera took a picture of a man before the shooting death of McKeithen. Officers have appealed for help in identifying the man, and a reward offer has risen to $35,000. And on Monday, police were seen searching some apartments.

Bryant writes on Twitter that the shooting is “senseless” and that he met with Biloxi Police Chief John Miller. Bryant, a onetime deputy sheriff, writes “we will find the coward who fired the shots” and arrest him.

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9:30 a.m.

A Mississippi Gulf Coast police chief says a gunman who killed one of his officers outside the police station is an “animal,” and he’s still on the run.

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller says he believes the man who fatally shot officer Robert McKeithen is still in the area, but says he has no information to support that.

Authorities say the man walked up to McKeithen in the parking lot of Biloxi’s police station Sunday night, shot him multiple times and then ran.

Firefighters rushed the officer to a hospital emergency room, where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities released images showing the suspect wearing navy blue shorts, a black T-shirt, a red beanie cap and dark high top sneakers with red tops.

Officials are pleading for the public’s help, saying there’s a $5,000 cash reward being offered through Crime Stoppers.

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6:40 a.m.

Police in Mississippi are looking for a gunman who approached a uniformed officer outside a Biloxi police station and shot him dead.

News outlets report that authorities say the man walked up to the Biloxi officer in the station’s parking lot Sunday night, shot him multiple times and then ran off.

Firefighters rushed the officer to a hospital emergency room down the street, where he was pronounced dead.

Chief Leonard Papania of the Gulfport Police Department is leading the investigation along with the Harrison County sheriff and prosecutors’ offices. He says the suspect was wearing navy blue shorts, a black T-shirt, a red beanie cap and dark high top sneakers with red caps.

A law enforcement helicopter has been flying over Biloxi as officers search the area.