On September 25, 1939, Detective Joe Nance was assigned to the Homicide Squad and was on his way to Lakeland to conduct an interview of a witness in the case. A truck forced his vehicle off of the road and he was seriously injured. Detective Nance was taken to a Lakeland hospital for treatment.
On October 01, 1939, at 10:00 a.m., Detective Nance died from pneumonia. He was 57 years old and had been with the Tampa Police Department for 18 years. He had thousands of friends in the community. Detective Nance was the first black police officer to die in the line of duty.
There are no known family members related to Detective Joe Nance and no photograph of him has been located.
Note: The Tampa Morning Tribune carried only this limited information.