Police Officer James Nathaniel Mason

Police Officer James Nathaniel Mason

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, May 10, 1981

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James Nathaniel Mason

Police Officer James Mason succumbed to a gunshot wound received three days earlier.

Officer Mason was ambushed while he sat in his patrol car writing paperwork. His patrol car was positioned under a street light near the Mantua Hall Housing Project when he was shot. He and his partner had just settled a disturbance call.

An 18-year-old youth was arrested and charged with his murder. Although the suspect confessed to police that he shot Officer Mason, his trial resulted in an acquittal a year later. The case remains unsolved.

Officer Mason was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for five years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 1965
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, May 7, 1981
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Acquitted


Most Recent Reflection

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On April 9, 2023, P/O James Mason's mother, Ms. Ella Mason, was reunited with her son in heavenly splendor. RIP, mother and son.

Philadelphia Police Department

April 13, 2023

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