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

View all 25 Reflections

I worked with Officer Madon's brother Broderick. What a truly classy gentleman. I also remember working with him on the Greek Picnic one day on 33rd St and Girard Avenue. Boy did he make that day fun. He kept us all laughing and made the citizens who stopped to ask directions since we closed many intersections for the event, laugh too. They forgot how frustrated they were when we approached their cars. We talked about his brother being killed years ago,and he expressed the love he had for his brother and the great memories. May his brother James RIP and he will never be forgotten for his sacrifice!

Ted Thomas PPD Retired
Phila.Police Dept.

July 1, 2023

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