Patrolman James J. Flanagan

Patrolman James J. Flanagan

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Thursday, March 12, 1931

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James J. Flanagan

Patrolman James Flanagan was shot and killed as he attempted to question two suspicious men.

Patrolman Flanagan was off duty and in civilian clothes when he observed two suspicious men at the corner of Park Avenue and 128th Street in Manhattan at approximately 2:00 am. Patrolman Flanagan approached them and attempted to question them, but one suspect drew a pistol and opened fire, striking him. Patrolman Flanagan was able to draw his revolver and fire six shots, hitting one suspect twice and one suspect once.

Two patrolmen who were attracted by the sounds of the gunfire arrived on scene. The suspects, 25 and 37, both shot in the abdomen dragged themselves to a nearby hiding spot where they were apprehended an hour later and transported to a hospital.

Patrolman Flanagan was removed to the hospital and died later that day from his injuries. The suspect, 37, died a week later.

The other suspect had recently escaped from the New Jersey Penitentiary. He was sentenced to seven years the previous December for grand larceny and assault. He was convicted of Patrolman Flanagan's murder and sentenced to life. He was paroled in 1951. On May 13, 1952, he was charged with attempted armed robbery when he tried to rob a gas station in the Bronx with a toy gun. The attendant realized it was a toy and slapped it out of his hand. He fled but was quickly apprehended. He was convicted of attempted armed robbery and sentenced to prison as a habitual offender to 25 years to life.

Patrolman Flanagan was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department's Medal of Honor.

Patrolman Flanagan had served with the New York City Police Department for 15 months and was assigned to the 25th Precinct.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 1 year, 3 months
  • Badge 1312

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender One killed; One sentenced to life

off duty, suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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God bless you and thank you for your service . After 90 years after giving up your life for the citizens of New York ans their safety , you are not forgotten . Rest In Peace and watch over those extended family members . Salute ! Hero !

Ret. Po ohara
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March 12, 2021

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