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3 charged in killing of Oakland police officer Tuan Le

Oakland police Officer Tuan Le was shot and killed Friday morning while responding to burglary at a cannabis business near Oakland’s Embarcadero.
Oakland police Officer Tuan Le was shot and killed while on an undercover assignment on Dec. 29. | Source: Oakland Police Department

Three men have been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of Oakland Police Officer Tuan Le, including the individual who police believe shot and killed the officer while he was on an undercover assignment, authorities announced Wednesday.

Mark Demetrius Sanders, 27, of Tracy, was arrested in Livermore early Tuesday and has been charged with murder, along with other charges and special allegations, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price said. A second individual, Allen Brown, 28, has also been charged with murder for allegedly participating in the fatal shooting of Le, Price said. Brown was arrested Sunday night in Chico, according to Oakland Police Chief Darren Allison.

The Alameda County DA’s Office has also filed charges against 30-year-old Sebron Ray Russell, who authorities believe participated in the burglary that preceded the shooting. Russell was arrested on Monday in San Francisco, according to online booking records.

“My office will do everything within the confines of our legal power to make sure that the men we believe—the man we believe shot and killed Officer Le—will serve the rest of his life in prison,” Price told reporters during a news conference Wednesday night.

In 2019, Sanders had an arrest warrant issued in relation to a shooting he was suspected of taking part in, according to an Oakland Police Department bulletin. Sanders, that bulletin noted, had previously been arrested on suspicion of murder and gun charges, but it did not say why he was released or the outcome of that case.

Sanders is one of a number of suspects in the Tuan Le case, some of whom remain at large, according to the Oakland police, who first announced Tuesday that arrests had been made in the case.

During Wednesday’s news briefing, Allison said the department was not releasing the names or number of individuals involved in the incident.

“There are additional suspects whom we have yet to arrest,” Allison said.

According to county jail records, Sanders, Brown and Russell are set to be arraigned on Thursday.

Le was wearing plainclothes and in an unmarked vehicle when he was shot Friday morning in the 400 block of Embarcadero, south of Interstate 880 near the Jack London Aquatic Center. He was taken by fellow officers to Highland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 8:45 a.m.

The chaotic aftermath of the scene was recorded in transcripts of dispatchers and police trying to figure out what happened and where.

According to 911 dispatch records, a call came in from an unnamed officer, who said that shots had been fired at undercover officers near 499 Embarcadero.

At that point, a dispatcher stated that there had been a collision.

“It looks like we have an officer down. … Hey, I’ve got an officer down. We’re hit,” an officer said. 

The radio chatter then said the undercover officer was being taken directly to the hospital, before another officer interrupted, trying to calm the radio chaos.

“OK, I need everybody to calm down,” he said. “I need one unit that’s actually at the location to give an actual update on the location.”

Finally, details of the suspect and their escape route came over the radio.

“All we have is that it’s a black vehicle that shot at officers,” the record said. “It’s going on 880 north. Wait, south.”

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