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