KCPD Memorial   Lest We Forget
Police Officer
Harry J. Keating
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, March 18, 1917
Age: 31
DOB: 1885
Cause of death: Gunfire
Suspect information: Prosecuted, charge dismissed
 

On March 18, 1917, Officer Harry J. Keating - out of uniform - was waiting at the corner of 9th and Main Streets for a street car when he saw a man he wanted to arrest. Witnesses reported that he had the man on his knees at gunpoint, when William B. Leahy - a Pinkerton officer - saw him and thought Officer Keating was holding up the man. Leahy drew his gun and advanced, demanding that Officer Keating drop his weapon. Officer Keating turned to face Leahy, and Leahy - believing that he would be shot - fired on Officer Keating wounding him in the head. Officer Keating was pronounced dead at General Hospital. The prisoner escaped. Leahy was out of uniform at the time, and the two men did not know each other.

Pinkerton Officer William Leahy was arrested and charged with second degree murder. Leahy was discharged after a preliminary trial showed Officer Keating and Leahy's mutual misidentification of the other as suspects precipitated the shooting.

Officer Keating, 30, was born in Ireland, emigrated to the United States in 1904. He was survived by his wife of two years, Josephine. Interred: Mount St. Mary's Cemetery.

Article by Brent Marchant