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Deputy Sheriff Kent Kearney | Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

Deputy Sheriff

Kent Kearney

Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

End of Watch: Tuesday, July 12, 1898

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 28

Tour: Not available

Badge # 409

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 7/11/1898

Weapon: Rifle

Offender: Deceased

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Deputy Sheriff Kent Kearney was shot and killed as he and other officers attempted to arrest three suspects in connection with the disappearance and murders of two men in 1896. Sheriff Kearney spotted two of the suspects hiding on a roof. As he climbed a ladder to the roof he was shot by one of the suspects.

The group of officers retreated and the suspects were never arrested for the murder of Sheriff Kearney. All three did surrender to the sheriff's office to face trial in the disappearance of the two men in 1896. They were acquitted of that crime and were not tried for the murder of Sheriff Kearney. One suspect later became a senator in the New Mexico State Senate and died in 1941; another suspect died in 1946.

A third suspect, the man who murdered the two men in 1896 was also the leader of a gang that murdered two officers in New Mexico the following year. Posseman Henry Love, of the Colfax County, New Mexico, Sheriff's Department, and Sheriff Edward Farr, of the Huerfano County, Colorado, Sheriff's Department, were both killed as the result of a shootout on July 16, 1899. The leader of the gang, notorious outlaw Thomas E. "Black Jack" Ketchum, was arrested following the shootout and executed on April 26, 1901, as he was also suspected of being associated with the Butch Cassidy gang who killed at least eleven law Officers.

Deputy Kearney was survived by his two sons.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Sheriff Edward J. Farr
Huerfano County Sheriff's Office, Colorado
End of Watch: Sunday, July 16, 1899
Cause: Gunfire

Posseman Henry M. Love
Colfax County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico
End of Watch: Thursday, July 20, 1899
Cause: Duty related illness

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