James Robert Leavelle (born August 23, 1920) is the former Dallas, Texas homicide detective who was escorting Lee Harvey Oswald through the basement of Dallas Police headquarters when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby.
Leavelle was born and raised in Red River County, Texas and joined the Dallas Police Department in April 1950 and retired in April 1975.
In a 2006 interview Leavelle, who was the first to interrogate Oswald after his arrest, recalled joking to Oswald before the transfer, " 'Lee, if anybody shoots at you, I hope they're as good a shot as you are.' He kind of smiled and said, ‘Nobody’s going to shoot at me.’ ” He personally believes that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy, and said that in a 2006 discussion, he was told by Oswald's brother Robert that he believes the same thing, "because I knew my brother."
Leavelle was a sailor on board the USS Whitney during the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.