Crime

‘It is a manhunt,’ Gov. Phil Bryant says of officer death. ‘We all take it personally.’

Gov. Phil Bryant told the Sun Herald that investigators believe they have identified the suspect in the Sunday night shooting death of Biloxi police Patrolman Robert McKeithen, 58.

Bryant stopped by the Biloxi Police Department at 2 p.m. Monday to see Biloxi Chief John Miller, whose department is reeling from the death of the veteran officer set for retirement at year’s end. The governor stayed about 30 minutes.

On the way in, he said investigators know who they are hunting. He did not want to identify the suspect because, he said, he did not know if the name had been released.

“There is some very good credible information as to the identify of the suspect ,” said Bryant, who started his career as a deputy sheriff in Hinds County. “. . . We are exercising every lead in trying to find him and apprehend him.”

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is in charge of investigating the shooting. Many law enforcement agencies are helping and members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force were headed up to Miller’s office after Bryant left.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” the governor said. “We all take it personally . . . This is a police officer, a brother in blue. It’s very hard for all of us.”

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