Detective James J. Keefe

Detective James J. Keefe

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, January 5, 1905

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James J. Keefe

Detective James J. Keefe was shot and mortally wounded when he and other officers attempted to arrest a man at 26th and Wallace Streets. The man was wanted for several armed robberies and shooting a policeman. As soon as the officers began to approach the suspect he drew his pistol, fired two shots, and ran into a nearby saloon. As the officers entered the saloon the suspect and the saloon keeper opened fire on them. In an exchange of gunfire Detective Keefe was shot in the chest, another officer was wounded, the saloon keeper was hit in the arm, and the suspect was hit in the back and leg. The saloon keeper was taken into custody at the scene. The suspect fled, but was taken into custody at a drug store on 41st Street where he collapsed from a loss of blood. He died later that day. Detective Keefe died on the way to the hospital.

The saloon keeper was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.

The saloon keeper and the suspect had been inmates together in prison.

Detective Keefe served with the Chicago Police Department for less than 14 years and was survived by his wife, and four children.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 13 years, 9 months
  • Badge 1620

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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My Great-Grandfather. I see he was survived by 4 children. I believe my Nana Pauline was one of his Kids. Telling from his picture he and I share the same Mustache. John O'Keefe Fox Lake Illinois.

John O'Keefe no rank

July 1, 2021

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