Officer Don A. Beckstead

Officer Don A. Beckstead

Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona

End of Watch Sunday, February 7, 1971

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Don A. Beckstead

Officer Don Beckstead was shot and killed after stopping a suspect who had just shot and killed Officer James Keeton minutes earlier.

Officer Keeton had stopped the man for a traffic violation on I-40, just prior to the New Mexico border, and a struggle ensued. The suspect gained control of Officer Keeton's weapon and shot him with it. It is believed that Officer Beckstead did not know that the man had just shot and killed Officer Keeton when he stopped the suspect a second time.

The man was wanted for raping and murdering a young girl in California. After shooting both officers the man murdered another citizen before being shot and killed by New Mexico State Police officers.

Officer Beckstead was survived by his wife and two sons.


  • Age 28
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 409

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, February 5, 1971
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

fugitive, sex offender, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

Officer Beckstead,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Arizona. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol

February 7, 2021

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