PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Monday marked 18 years since Sergeant Kevin Kight was killed in the line of duty in Panama City Beach.

Family, friends, and local law enforcement gathered to celebrate his life.

Kight joined the Panama City Beach Police Department in October of 1998, but one spring break weekend in 2005, Kight would fulfill his final duty as an officer, and in life.

It started out as a routine traffic stop for Kight, but when he checked the man’s driver’s license, it wasn’t valid.

When he tried to arrest him, the suspect pulled a gun and shot Kight twice, killing him. Kight was only 34 years old.

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

The scene of the crime was at the intersection of Front Beach Road and Richard Jackson Boulevard. A memorial now lies there to honor the fallen officer.

Loved ones gather at this location every March 27 to remember his life and legacy.

“I love and appreciate that he is remembered,” Kight’s widow Christina Kight-McVay said. “It was a sacrifice. It was a sacrifice and I don’t ever want what happened to be forgotten.”

Kight also left behind a son, Brandon.

Brandon was four at the time of his father’s death and is now continuing his legacy. He became a Panama City Beach police officer in 2020.

“I grew up with it,” PCBPD Officer Brandon Kight said. “It’s all I’ve known my whole life, really. At a certain point, you realize it’s really the only path for you.”

Kight-McVay said she has mixed feelings about her son following in his father’s footsteps.

“It’s a mix,” Kight-McVay said. “I’m proud but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have worry, but there is a lot of his dad in him. Just like the chief said, when he walks, he has his dad’s walk.”

She remembered how Sgt. Kight lit up a room wherever he went and never met a stranger.

She also hopes his story serves as a reminder to officers to always remain vigilant while on the job.