Harrison County

Coast school surprises slain Biloxi police officer’s grandson with special gift

Ever since the tragic fatal shooting of Biloxi Officer Robert McKeithen on May 5, the community has surrounded the family and police department with support.

On Friday, that support continued at North Woolmarket Middle and Elementary School, where McKeithen’s only grandson, 8th grader Delmas Cox, attends and is loved by teachers and students alike.

“Delmas is really outgoing and loves people. He’s always cracking jokes,” 8th grader Emily Tannehill said. “He was really proud of his grandfather.”

“He has a big personality and a huge heart,” social studies teacher Allison Miller said.

Teachers, faculty and staff gave Cox a special gift during lunch. They invited him onstage for a special presentation with five police officers. He was wearing a T-shirt with his grandfather’s badge number on the front and his picture on the back.

“We would like to honor his memory with a special gift to one of our own North Woolmarket Sharks,” Coach Aaron Garlotte said. “We hope this will help keep your great memories of your grandfather throughout your life. We love you, support you and if you ever need anything from us we are here for you.”

Cox was then presented with a large framed picture of McKeithen and a Biloxi police patch surrounded by personal messages from teachers and staff.

The 8th grader said he loved the gift and plans to hang it above his bed.

Miller said the smile and joy on his face is what made the moment even more special.

“That’s what we do this job for, we’re not just teachers. We’re so many other things,” Miller said. “While I know he’s going to remember this forever in sad ways, today is something he can look back on and remember how happy he was. That he can remember what his teachers, friends and community did for him”

Alyssa Newton is an award-winning multimedia journalist with a background in television, radio and print. She’s originally from Dothan, Alabama and has a journalism degree from the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Her passion lies in storytelling, news, sports and a strong espresso.