Town Sergeant James A. Taylor

Town Sergeant James A. Taylor

Cape Charles Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Friday, November 29, 1918

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James A. Taylor

Town Sergeant James Taylor succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day in a shootout with a man wanted for a double shooting.

The previous shooting occurred earlier in the evening at a local dance hall. A subject had shot two men after fighting over a woman. All three men involved in the shooting were mess attendants at the Cherrystone Naval Base.

Sergeant Taylor, along with several sailors from the naval base, located the subject hiding in a house. As Sergeant Taylor entered a room to make the arrest, the man opened fire, striking him in the arm, leg, and stomach.

Despite exchanging shots with the sailors, the suspect was able to evade capture at that time. Sergeant Taylor was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital, in Norfolk, where he died the following day.

The suspect was arrested in Wilmington, Delaware, several days later and extradited to Virginia. He was convicted of Sergeant Taylor's murder, sentenced to death, and subsequently executed on June 27, 1919.

Sergeant Taylor had served with the Cape Charles Police Department for 15 years and had previously served as a lifesaver for the United States Life-Saving Service at Smith Island. He was survived by his wife and eight children. He is buried at Cape Charles Cemetery, Northhampton County, Virginia.


  • Age 61
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, November 28, 1918
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Executed in 1919

warrant service

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Just found out this information, you were my great grandfather, your daughter Anna was my grandma. Sorry I didn’t get to know you.

Millie musgrave , no rank
Great grandfather

November 13, 2021

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