Officer James L. Keeton

Officer James L. Keeton

Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona

End of Watch Friday, February 5, 1971

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James L. Keeton

Officer James Keeton was shot and killed during a traffic stop on I-40, 12 miles west of the New Mexico border.

A struggle ensued and the suspect gained control of his weapon and shot him with it. Minutes later Officer Don Beckstead stopped the man for another traffic violation. It is believed that Officer Beckstead did not know that the man had just shot and killed Officer Keeton.

During that traffic stop, the suspect also shot and killed Officer Beckstead. The man was wanted for murdering a young girl in California. After shooting both officers the man murdered another citizen before being shot and killed by members of the New Mexico State Police.


  • Age 27
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 310

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

fugitive, sex offender, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Keeton,
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.

United States Border Patrol

February 5, 2021

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