Fallen officer told rescued driver he was ‘so lucky to be alive.’ An hour later, he was shot dead in a parking lot

A Mississippi officer who was shot dead outside police headquarters Sunday evening had reportedly assisted a driver in a wreck less than an hour before his death.

According to the Biloxi Sun Herald, Damon Corrigan, 22, had fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed his Ford Mustang near the end of the Biloxi Bay Bridge. Robert McKeithen, 58, a 23-year veteran with the Biloxi Police Department, was reportedly the officer who responded to the scene and helped Corrigan out his car.

“The only thing I remember him telling me was that I was so lucky to be alive,” Corrigan recalled. “He was so nice. I felt so bad.”

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As ABC News previously reported, a suspect shot McKeithen multiple times in the Lopez Quave Public Safety Center’s parking lot before taking off. The suspect, identified as Darian Atkinson, 19, was eventually arrested and charged with capital murder for the officer’s shooting death.

Court records obtained by the news station stated that Atkinson snuck up behind the officer in the precinct’s parking lot and shot him several times in the back. Video footage caught the suspect fleeing on foot afterward, according to the Sun Herald.

The accused gunman’s brother, Davian Atkinson, 21, was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to capital murder for allegedly giving the suspect a ride following the fatal shooting and providing him with his cellphone in an attempt for his brother to evade arrest.

Biloxi police Chief John Miller reportedly said that McKeithen was planning to retire at the end of this year.

A motive in Sunday’s deadly shooting remains undisclosed. Darian is currently jailed without bond.

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[Featured image: Robert McKeithen/City of Biloxi; Handout]