Detective Arleigh Eugene McCree

Detective Arleigh Eugene McCree

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, February 8, 1986

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Arleigh Eugene McCree

Detective Arleigh McCree and Officer Ronald Ball were killed while attempting to defuse two booby-trapped pipe bombs. The officers, both members of the Bomb Squad, were called to a home that was being searched in connection with a shooting. The officers conducting the search located the two pipe bombs in a garage and called the Bomb Squad to the scene. While examining the devices the officers determined they were booby trapped and moved all of the other officers away from the scene.

As Detective McCree and Officer Ball attempted to defuse the bombs they detonated, killing Detective McCree instantly and fatally wounding Officer Ball, who succumbed to the wounds at a local hospital several hours later.

Detective McCree was a U.S. Navy veteran and was a world-renowned bomb expert and assisted with the investigation of the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon. He was even offered a high-paying job by the dictator Moammar Khadafy to train terrorists how to build bombs.


  • Age 46
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 12241
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Bomb
  • Weapon Explosives; Pipe bomb
  • Offender Not available

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Most Recent Reflection

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I was a young Bomb Squad Team Member for an east-coast mid-sized urban department beginning in the early 1980's. All of our team members knew of Det. McCree and the high stakes work he did worldwide...he was a Bomb Tech that we sought to learn everything that we could from his cases....he was seen as one of the best Tecs in the world. We devoured his after-action reports to see how he was so successful. We all felt a sharp sense of loss of such a talented, smart, professional technician. We worried about our own well-being and professional abilities if this fine and skilled a man could be taken from us, so we redoubled our efforts to learn more and do better ops in the field.

Capt WILLIAM J. INGOLD (ret. Sept/2008)
Greensboro Police Department - Bomb Squad Member (1981 - 1986)

June 30, 2020

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