Community remembers fallen Panama City Beach Police Officer

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Local law enforcement and community members gathered to honor fallen Panama City Beach Police Department Sergeant Kevin Kight. 

“This happened 19 years ago, and we still gather here every year to remember him. That’s the least we can do for his sacrifice to this community,” Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said. 


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Wednesday was the 19th anniversary of Kight’s tragic death in the line of duty. He joined the police department in October 1998, but his service ended abruptly one spring break weekend in 2005. 

Kight was conducting a traffic stop and discovered the driver, Robert J. Bailey, had an invalid license. When he tried arresting him, Bailey fatally shot Kight. He was only 34 years old. 

The shooting occurred at the intersection of Front Beach Road and Richard Jackson Boulevard. A memorial now sits in that location in Kight’s honor. Talamantez worked with Kight and says it’s important to never forget.

“The term always remember isn’t just a catchphrase, especially in our line of work. We mean it. It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened,” Talamantez said.

Kight left behind a wife, Christina Kight-Mcvay, and a son, Brandon, who is following in his father’s footsteps. Brandon was only 4 years old when his father died. He became a Panama City Beach police officer in 2020. 

“When you grow up around cops and in the lifestyle, it’s kind of hard to leave it. I did try other things before this, but eventually, at the end of the day, this is where I’m happiest,” Kight’s son Brandon said.

Brandon says he’s proud to carry on his father’s legacy. 


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“It feels good, especially from what I’m hearing from all the older crowd that did work with him and did know him. They tell me how I actually do a lot of what he would do. I have a lot of the same mannerisms, things of that nature.”

Bailey was arrested for killing Kight. He was later convicted of first-degree murder. 

In 2019, his case was reopened because the U.S. Supreme Court determined Florida’s death penalty was unconstitutional if it wasn’t unanimous. Bailey continues to serve a life sentence.

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