KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY BY GUNSHOT
End of Watch: October 7, 1921
James G. Griffin, twenty-seven, 1141 South 23rd street a policeman of the 20th and Federal street station, was shot twice and seriously wounded early this morning by a thief at 28th and Oakford streets.
Officer Griffin had leaped to the running board an automobile in which five persons were escaping with three bolts of cloth stolen from the home of Alex McElhennie, a drayman, 1230 South 28th street.
The policeman saw them carrying bolts of cloth from the dwelling in which a window that had been forced open. The men were in the car and the engine was running when Griffin came alongside and told them to stop.
“Beat it, beat it.” The driver said, starting the car. He reached over with one hand, clinging to the machine with the other, and attempted to use the emergency brake. As he did so, the driver drew an automatic pistol and without losing his hold on the steering wheel, fired five shots at Griffin. One of the bullets lodged in his side and other shattered the bone of his left arm, sending him to the street unconscious. Office Griffin was taken to Polyclinic Hospital where he died. A seven-passenger touring car found in West Philadelphia a few hours after the shooting is thought to be the one the gang used.