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

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We are grateful for the service of Officer James Keeton, and recognize the great burden the family had to bear on this day so many years ago. I hope we never lose sight of the collateral damage of the death of law enforcement personnel.

Ramsey Beckstead, James Keeton is remembered today on the 47th anniversary of his death. His assailants are long forgotten, but James' memory lives on.

Stan Jefferson
Citizen of Arizona

February 7, 2018

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