Patrolman James H. Keister

Patrolman James H. Keister

Bluefield Police Department, West Virginia

End of Watch Friday, January 10, 1913

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James H. Keister

Patrolman James Keister was shot and killed while enforcing the city's cow law. He and another officer had rounded up several cows that were roaming free and taking them to the pound.

An 18-year-old man learned that his family's cow was among those being herded to the pound and went to retrieve it. He confronted Patrolman Keister and the other officer and attempted to take the cow. After the man attempted to strike Patrolman Keister he fled to his home. Patrolman Keister followed him and as he climbed the home's front stairs the man shot him in the chest with a shotgun, killing him.

The man fled but turned himself in the following day. He claimed self defense and was tried and acquitted.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Keister,
On today, the 110th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Bluefield.


United States Border Patrol

January 10, 2023

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