James Michael Black, Jr.

December 3, 2019


On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, a memorial service, graveside service and celebration of life reception was held for Fugitive Recovery Agent James Michael Black Jr. who was killed in the line of duty.  Originally from Kings Mountain, NC he resided with his family in Lake Elsinore, CA.  The funeral services were held at the St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Wildomar CA. and at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside CA.

Jamie was preceded in death by his father James Michael Black of Maiden NC, His paternal grandparents Joseph and Lucille Black of Bessemer City and his maternal grandparents Jonas Leroy and Clara Lee McCraw of Kings mountain, He was also preceded in death by  his stepfather David Keith Pendleton who instilled in him his lifelong love for the Marines.

Jamie, 42, died after being shot by a federal fugitive and career criminal whom Jamie was attempting to apprehend  on the evening of December 3, 2019 in San Moreno CA. The fugitive then became the subject of a manhunt by the San Bernardino and Riverside Sheriff’s Departments who, jointly, located and killed the fugitive in a shootout less than 48 hours later in San Bernardino.

He is remembered as a devoted family man who was outgoing and compassionate, as well as a role model and mentor to many of the fugitive recovery agents that worked under his supervision. His warm and friendly southern personality would shine through when he often reminded his friends, “I appreciate you.”

Black attended Cleveland tech for a short time after graduating from Kings Mountain High School but was recommended to IBM by an instructor and after graduating from the International School of Business in Chicago, became the youngest IBM employee on the East coast.  He stayed with them for three years but then joined the Marines so he could jump out of airplanes.

He started his career as an enlisted serviceman in the Air Intelligence branch of the U.S. Marine Corps and progressed to a commissioned officer after earning his Masters in Criminal Justice.  His first command was in LA in the aftermath of Katrina.  He earned the respect and devotion of his men there by finding big screen TVs, copes of current movies and meals from Outback for his guys during their down time.  They were the envy of all military servicemen in that area. Jamie could never do enough for the people he cared for.

 After 14 years and multiple deployments to Iraq as an Intelligence Operations Officer he resigned his commission and went on to  become a private contractor in Afghanistan,  He commanded one quarter of the countries civilian forces for three years and was the youngest commander in the country.  James then returned to Southern California and using the skills and certifications he acquired while serving our country,  he began working as a fugitive recovery agent for the Federal government and licensed private investigator, ultimately founding and supervising the largest independent bail fugitive recovery team in California, the U.S. Fugitive Service International (Black Umbrella Group)  located in Lake Elsinore, CA.

He is survived by the only woman he ever loved, his wife Michelle Vasquez Black, his five children Austin Black(Samira), James Black III, Ashlynn Black, Logan Black and Aleena Black.  He is also survived by his two sisters,  Donna Cantrell(Ronald) Short of Grover, and Tanya Storm of Bellingham, Wa and his brothers Joseph(Amanda)Black and Brian Black as well as his stepmother Rita Black of Maiden and his much loved stepfather Robert Moses. Also left to barely survive his passing is his mother, Teresa McCraw Moses.

Her son lived and died a hero.  His funeral was no exception to the larger than  life he lived.   There were sheriff cars leading the procession down a major highway while motorcycle cops shut down the exits and held back thousands of cars  so Jamie  could go by. There were flags flying on the police bikes and cars and the motorcycle honor guard from the marines led his casket with their own flags.  There were so many cars in the procession they had to brought into the cemetery in two directions to get them all parked.  At the beautiful but stark military cemetery where his spot is there were bagpipes played and guns fired and long walks following behind his casket through cordons of honor guards and marines. 

 The legacy her son left is huge, his business thrives, the home he left for his family is beautiful,  and all his children are blessed with his intelligence and sweet disposition.  He was 42 when he went left us but to his mom  he is still her little boy.  The one she caught jumping off the back of the trailer in his batman costume one day when she was returning home from work, the little boy that constantly amazed and delighted her with an imagination like no one else she ever knew .He was the child that  went to the ER so many times because he thought he could do  everything.   His mom spent countless hours at the school houses because his personality and his intelligence led him into situations other kids wouldn’t even think about. .   All so he could become the man he was.  A hero to the world and to his family.  He had lost his dad and grandparents by the time he was 15 and it was just the two of them.  He was her best friend through the hardest parts of her life.  He accepted what could not be changed at a young age and it made him stronger and a lot older than his years. His mom was and still is proud of him even when she was mad at him. She is  blessed beyond words to have been the mother of Jamie Black.  She would not trade one minute of that to be released from the grief she lives with.  The Lord will hold her hand, keep her strong and walk with her every step till she can be reunited with her child.

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