A conversation with the McKeithen family

Robert McKeithen, the 24-year Biloxi police officer who died after being shot in front of the city’s public safety center Sunday night, had told Police Chief John Miller he planned to retire at the end of the year, but family members question whether that was really going to happen.

“He always talked about retiring. But it was always one of those things like ‘one more year, one more year,'” step-son Logan Grundel says in a video the city released today. “He loved this job and he never really wanted to quit. I think he was more proud to say he was able to retire than he really wanted to retire. You could tell that he really was living the dream, his dream that he envisioned for himself.”

The city created the six-minute video after media requests to interview the family. The family chose to communicate through the video conversation with the Biloxi police chief. The video was recorded Tuesday afternoon, shortly before the prayer vigil at Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center.

McKeithen, 58, was married three times and raised step-children and a biological daughter.

His was proud to be a Biloxi police officer, his wife, Pamela, told Miller in the video: “Besides family, that was his life. He loved it,” she said. “He took meticulous care of his uniforms. Like, ‘Don’t touch it. I got this.’ He was going to make sure everything was in its place on his uniform. He would iron it every day, shine his boots. It was meticulous. That’s the way he wanted it. It was everything.”

McKeithen and his wife had birthdays a day apart. Said Pamela: “We went out on my birthday and came back on his.”

During the video, the family also thanked the Biloxi Police Department and others who they have encountered in the days after the shooting.

Said Pamela: “There’s no word big enough to cover such a massive outpouring of love that’s just there. And I can’t think of a word.”
YouTube: See the video
Facebook: See the video

Video news & notes: Prayer vigil, city presentation, council meeting

Prayer vigil: About 500 people gathered at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center Tuesday night for a prayer vigil in memory of Patolman Robert McKeithen of the Biloxi Police Department. The vigil, organized by the East Biloxi Ecumenical Council, was conducted on the steps of the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center, steps from where McKeithen was gunned down two days earlier. To see the entire 32-minute ceremony, click here.

City presentation: Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich and members of the City Council gathered Tuesday at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center to pay respects to the memory of the slain police officer. To see video of the presentation, click here.

Council meeting: To see video from the Tuesday night meeting of the Biloxi City Council, click here. To see photos from the meeting, click here.