Police Officer Francis V. Keyes, #214

1893 - 1936
Albany Police Department
5th Precinct
Gunshot Wound


On Thursday 04-16-1936 at 11:10 PM, P.O. Keyes and Sgt. Begley, operating Prowl Car #10, chased and finally stopped two young men on a motorcycle for running a red light at Central Avenue and Tremont Street, Albany NY. The driver, Edward LaMarsh, 17, gave a fictitious name and could produce neither his driver's license nor registration for the motorcycle. Sgt. Begley stayed with the motorcycle and sent P.O. Keyes, with the two men, to the 5th Precinct, then located on Central Avenue near North Lake Avenue. At Central Avenue and Quail, LaMarsh stuck a .32-cal pistol in Keyes' ribs and ordered the officer to drive past the Precinct. At North Lake and Elk Street, LaMarsh exited the prowl car and told his accomplice to take the officer's gun. The second man, however, fled. P.O. Keyes then exited the car and struggled with LaMarsh. LaMarsh shot Keyes in the right chest and fled. Keyes returned fire, emptying his revolver at the fleeing LaMarsh, but missed. Keyes then collapsed on the hood of a passing motorist who witnessed the incident. The witness drove Keyes to St. Peter's Hospital where the officer died 8 days later on 4-24-1936 from pneumonia, a resulting complication of the shooting. LaMarsh was subsequently arrested as he stepped off a train in Plattsburgh, NY, and charged with murder. The co-defendant, a 13 year old, was later arrested and charged with Juvenile Delinquency.

Keyes, 43, was born in 1893 in Coxsackie, NY, and lived in Albany 24 years. He was sworn in on 7-11-1925 and assigned to the 5th Precinct. Survivors included his 19 year old daughter, Jane Keyes; mother, Mrs. Lucy Garry Keyes; three brothers, George, Stanley and Theodore; and three sisters, Cecelia Keyes, Mrs. Alexander Wilson and Mrs. James Langdon Keyes was waked from his residence of 29 North Manning Blvd., to the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on Central Avenue, and buried at Our Lady of Angel's Cemetery. Six officers from Keyes' squad at the 5th Precinct served as pallbearers.