Watch CBS News

Oakland police officer Tuan Le shot, killed in overnight burglary operation

Oakland police, community mourn fellow officer shot dead Friday morning
Oakland police, community mourn fellow officer shot dead Friday morning 04:59

OAKLAND -- An Oakland police officer was fatally shot early Friday morning after responding to reports of a burglary at a cannabis business, the second burglary at the location within four hours.

In an update Friday afternoon, Oakland police identified the officer killed as 36-year-old Tuan Le. Born in Vietnam, Le moved to Oakland and was naturalized on September 11, 2001.

WATCH: Heartfelt tributes paid to slain Oakland police officer Tuan Le at public memorial

Le graduated from the 183rd police academy in 2020. Police said Le served as the community resource officer in West Oakland for the past two years.

Tuan Le
Oakland police officer Tuan Le. Oakland Police Dept

"Officer Le was a devoted husband to his wife. His passing leaves a void in the law enforcement community, the city of Oakland, and in the hearts of those who knew him. He will be remembered for his kindness, his smile, and the positive change he brought to the lives of those around him. He is a true hero who dedicated his life to making our community safer," police said in a statement.

The shooting happened on the 400 block of Embarcadero just after 4:30 a.m. Friday. At a press conference Friday afternoon, Interim Police Chief Darren Allison said uniformed and plainclothes officers conducting burglary suppression were dispatched to the 400 block of Embarcadero just before 1 a.m. on reports of a burglary in progress. They found evidence of a burglary at a business but no suspects were found at the scene, Allison said.

ALSO READ: Slaying of Oakland officer Tuan Le cuts deep across Bay Area communities

Raw video: Oakland Police press conference on officer killed in shooting 14:19

Shortly after 4:30 a.m., dispatchers received a second report of a burglary at the same location and, as officers arrived, they saw multiple individuals leaving the business. Allison said that, as the individuals fled, one of them began shooting multiple times toward officers, hitting a plainclothes officer driving a vehicle. 

The officer was taken to Highland Hospital where he died of his injuries at 8:44 a.m. despite efforts by medical personnel, Allison said. Le was surrounded by his wife, mother and members of the department when he died.

At the scene, a white Toyota Tacoma truck with bullet holes and windows shattered was seen crashed into the back of a parked vehicle. Shell casings were seen near the southbound Highway 880 entrance near 9th St. and Embarcadero.  

Raw video: Scene where Oakland police officer was fatally shot 00:52

"The dangers and demands of this profession are real and come with significant sacrifice," Allison said. "Sadly today, one of our officers paid the ultimate sacrifice." 

Following the incident Friday morning, there was a large gathering of police officers as well as Mayor Sheng Thao holding vigil at Highland Hospital. 

"I see them hugging. I can feel that hug from standing across the street," said Roger Gomez, observing the scene. Gomez never met the officer but came to the hospital to pay his respects.

"Right now, just feeling totally empty inside and sad for the loss of the officer and everything that's going on in Oakland. I was born and raised here. I'm 70 years old now. It just hurts," Gomez said.

Gomez said he never felt unsafe in Oakland until this year after witnessing and hearing about multiple burglaries near his house. In fact, he was on his way to buy security equipment to protect his home when he heard about the killing.

Several hours after Le's death, members of the Oakland Police Department saluted as his body, covered by a U.S. flag, was led out of the hospital and into a coroner's van. Patrol vehicles formed an honorary procession to accompany his body to the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau several miles away in Oakland.

Raw video: Fallen Oakland police officer procession from hospital to coroner's office 01:07

"This morning, one of our brave and dedicated Oakland police officers has died in the line of duty," said Thao at the press conference. "I am truly devastated by this news and I know that all of Oakland feels the impact of this loss."  

Thao added that many of the city's officers are hurting over the loss of their colleague and will need the community's support.

"This senseless murder of a police officer, one of the guardians of our beautiful city, it will not stand," said Thao. "Oakland will work tirelessly with all of our law enforcement partners to find those responsible for this assault on our city and the killing of our officer." 

"This loss cuts deep,"  said Mayor Sheng Thao at a press conference. "Many of our officers are hurting right now and they're going to need our support. Our community is in shock. This senseless murder of a police officer, one of the guardians of our beautiful city. It will not stand."

In a prepared statement, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price called the shooting "a tremendous tragedy for our entire community and extremely traumatizing for our law enforcement partners across the County."  

"I spoke to Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao this morning and offered my condolences. I also assured Mayor Thao that the Alameda County District Attorney's office is standing by to assist in any way we can and to support the Town in this critical time," said Price. "I also called the President of the Oakland Police Officers' Association, Barry Donelan, to offer condolences to the officer's family and colleagues from myself and on behalf of the Alameda County District Attorney's office. While the investigation is ongoing, I assured Mr. Donelan that my office stands ready to prosecute whoever is responsible and hold them accountable for killing this officer."

The San Francisco Police Officers Association posted a message on social media just after 9 a.m., saying, "Our prayers are with the Oakland PD officer shot this morning while doing their job and all the officers at @oaklandpoliceca and OPOA. We stand with you."

Le is the 54th Oakland Police officer to be killed in the line of duty. 

Da Lin contributed to this report

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.