OAKLAND, Calif. – A police officer in Oakland, California, was tragically shot and killed while responding to a burglary at a marijuana dispensary on Friday. The officer, Tuan Le, 36, was among those who arrived at the cannabis business near Jack London Square to investigate a report of a burglary in progress. This incident occurred just 3 1/2 hours after a previous burglary was reported at the same location. As officers arrived on the scene, they observed several individuals leaving the business, and one of them opened fire multiple times, striking Officer Le, who was in plainclothes and driving an unmarked car, as stated by interim Police Chief Darren Allison during a news conference.
Despite efforts to transport Officer Le to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries approximately four hours after the shooting. The city’s statement revealed that Officer Le was surrounded by his wife, mother, and fellow members of the Oakland Police Department when he passed away. The Chief mentioned that no officers returned fire, and while no arrests were made immediately, investigators were pursuing numerous leads.
Le, who was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and later became a naturalized citizen of Oakland in 2001, had recently graduated from the police academy in 2020 and had been working as a community resource officer in West Oakland for the past two years, according to the city’s statement. Mayor Sheng Thao expressed her devastation over the senseless act of violence, acknowledging the profound impact of the loss on the entire Oakland community.
President of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association, Barry Donelan, praised the officers who responded to the call and carried their fallen comrade to the hospital, emphasizing their determination to bring the perpetrator to justice. This tragic event marks the 54th death of an Oakland officer in the line of duty, occurring amidst an increase in violent crime driven by robberies. According to police department figures, there has been a 37% rise in robberies involving firearms compared to the previous year.
In summary, the Oakland, California, community is reeling from the loss of Officer Tuan Le, who was fatally shot while responding to a burglary at a local marijuana dispensary. The incident underscores the dangers faced by law enforcement officers and the impact of rising violent crime in the city. With investigations ongoing, the Oakland Police Department and the community unite in mourning the loss and seeking justice for Officer Le.