Deputy Keeper James B. Lippincott

Deputy Keeper James B. Lippincott

New Jersey Department of Corrections, New Jersey

End of Watch Friday, March 2, 1894

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James B. Lippincott

Deputy Keeper Lippincott was shot and killed by an inmate attempting to escape from the Trenton State Prison (now known as New Jersey State Prison). The inmate had manufactured a saw from watch and clock springs and was able to saw through the bars of his cell. When an officer approached the cell on his regular rounds, the inmate attacked him and took his gun. The inmate fled. The officer was able to crawl to an electronic alarm button in one of the walls and sound the alarm.

Deputy Lippincott, heard the alarm and ran toward the cell block. In an anti-room, he took an iron bar out of the door and, revolver in hand, continued on. He went only a few more yards when he came face to face with the inmate. The sudden meeting with the inmate surprised Deputy Lippincott, but not the inmate, who fired his gun. The shots struck Deputy Lippincott in the leg and back. Deputy Lippincott was able to return fire before he died. His shot grazed the inmate in the forehead.

Within a few moments, a half-dozen keepers arrived with guns drawn. The inmate fired twice at them, missing with both shots. One keeper returned fire, striking the inmate in the chest. The other keepers subdued the inmate and took him into custody. It was later discovered that the inmate had padded his clothes with books and papers and was not injured by the gunshot to the chest.

The prisoner was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He was executed on July 20th, 1894.

Deputy Keeper Lippincott was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Civil War and had served with the New Jersey State Penitentiary for four years. He was survived by his wife and seven children.


  • Age 56
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Executed on July 20, 1894

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Keeper Lippincott,
On today, the 123rd anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just a Law Enforcement Officer but also for our Country when you served in the USN during the Civil War.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

United States Border Patrol

March 2, 2017

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