Corporal Joe R. Massey

Corporal Joe R. Massey

Greensboro Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, May 31, 1959

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Joe R. Massey

Corporal Joe Massey was shot and killed in an act of revenge by a cab driver to whom he had written a ticket earlier in the morning.

The cab driver dropped his fare off and then went home to retrieve his pistol. He then waited for Corporal Massey to perform his routine rounds. He located Corporal Massey sitting in a service station across from 625 East Market Street completing paperwork shortly after midnight. The man entered the service station, called out to Officer Massey, and then shot him six times as he sat at the desk.

The 31-year-old suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life.

Corporal Massey had served with the Greensboro Police Department for 12 years and was one of the first African American officers hired by the agency. He was a widower.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

ambush, revenge

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service to your community. May your soul rest in peace.

Retired First Sergeant Thomas Webb
New York State Police - Troop "D"

January 4, 2024

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