Detective Keith L. Williams

Detective Keith L. Williams

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Monday, November 13, 1989

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Keith L. Williams

Detective Keith L. Williams and Detective Richard J. Guerzon were shot and killed by a prisoner as they were returning him to Riker's Island.

The detectives had picked up the prisoner at Riker's Island to bring him to the Queen's District Attorney's Office so a polygraph test could be administered. The prisoner was secured in a room and handcuffed to a pipe on the wall but was left unsupervised. It was during this time that their killer broke into a locker within his reach and obtained a handgun.

When the polygraph was canceled, the prisoner was cuffed behind his back to be returned to Riker’s Island. As the detectives drove along the Grand Central Parkway near LaGuardia Airport, the prisoner drew the weapon and ordered the detectives to pull the car to the side of the road. As soon as the vehicle stopped, the prisoner killed both officers. He un-cuffed himself with the detectives' handcuff keys and fled.

The detectives' killer, 25, was apprehended a few hours after the murder. He was subsequently convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to 91 years to life. He will be eligible for parole in 2079.

Detective Williams was assigned to the Queens District Attorney's Squad for eight years. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

In September 2019, 172nd Street and Jamaica Avenue were renamed Detective Keith Williams Way.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 4101

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 91 years to life

prisoner custody, transport, escape

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Condolences to the Williams family

Carson loveless

February 6, 2024

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