Undercover Oakland Police Officer Killed in Line of Duty – Community Mourns Tragic Loss

OAKLAND, Calif. – An undercover police officer in Oakland, California, was fatally shot while responding to a break-in at a business in the city’s waterfront entertainment district, authorities announced.

Officer Tuan Le, 36, was shot and died shortly afterward while surrounded by family members and fellow officers at Highland Hospital in Oakland, the department said in a statement.

The shooter is still at large, while two men suspected in the alleged burglary were arrested and remain in custody. The incident occurred as Le was working as part of a team assigned to Jack London Square to crack down on burglaries, according to Interim Police Chief Darren Allison. The unit received a report of a break-in at a cannabis dispensary around 1 a.m., but when they arrived initially nothing was amiss.

Hours later, around 4:30 a.m., another alarm went off at the same business, prompting plainclothes officers, including Le, to check out the site again. This time, they encountered a small crew of bandits, one of whom fired several shots toward the officers and hit Le. None of the officers returned fire.

Le was born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1987, and immigrated to Oakland as a child. He became a naturalized citizen on the same day as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He joined the Oakland PD in 2019 and began working as a community resource officer in West Oakland.

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered flags at the State Capitol to be flown at half-staff in honor of Le, and on Friday, a procession of Oakland officers led to transport Le’s body from the hospital to the coroner’s office for an autopsy.

Le is survived by his wife and his mother. His death marked the 54th killing of an Oakland police officer in the line of duty, and the first since March 21, 2009, when four officers were shot and killed during a traffic stop and a subsequent raid to catch the suspect.