An off-duty wildlife officer from Florida has been shot and killed while attempting to stop a hit-and-run driver.
The officer has been identified as 30-year-old Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Julian Keen Jr.
Officer Keen, who had worked for the agency for six years, had been off duty at the time of the shooting, which took place in LaBelle early on the morning of Sunday, June 14.
Early on June 14, deputies had been sent to the area of Apache Circle and Nobles Road, off State Road 78. Upon their arrival, they discovered Officer Keen had been fatally shot.
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is now working alongside the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on this case. Three suspects have been taken into custody for questioning.
Hendry County Sheriff Steven Whidden said:
We are deeply saddened by the death of FWC Officer Keen. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, members of FWC, friends and community. We will do everything we can to bring about justice to those guilty in his shooting death. We all knew Officer Keen, and he wasn’t only our brother in blue-but a role model for the community, he will be missed.
You can find out more about this story in the following news report:
The Florida Highway Patrol Command Officers Association have written the following tribute via Facebook:
FHP Command Officers are praying and remembering our fallen but NEVER forgotten brother, FWC Officer Julian Keen, who was murdered last night while following his calling to protect and serve others.
He was a genuine officer who would literally give his shirt off his back to ANYONE who needed it. Please pray for his family and law enforcement everywhere as we face these troubling times.
John 15:13 – ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’.
As reported by the , Officer Keen had been a standout in both football and track during his time at LaBelle High School. He went on to play football at Webber International University.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Officer Julian Keen Jr. at this difficult time.
Those with any information regarding the shooting are asked to contact Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 863-674-0406.