Oakland Police arrest, charge two men in shooting of Officer Tuan Le

Oakland Police said they arrested and charged two men with murder in the shooting of Officer Tuan Le last week. Photo courtesy of Oakland Police Department

Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Oakland said two men have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of undercover police officer Tuan Le.

Oakland Police Chief Darren Allison said in a press conference Wednesday night that Mark Sanders, 27, and Allen Brown, 28, had been arrested and charged with murder in the Dec. 29 shooting that killed Le.

Allison said Sanders, of Tracy, Calif., was taken into custody in Livermore just after midnight on Tuesday while Brown was arrested in his hometown of Chico on Sunday.

In addition to murder, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price said Sanders was also charged with special circumstances and special allegations, which she said could lead to a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if prosecutors are able to prove he knew Le was a police officer.

Brown was charged with participating in the shooting and death of Le and both were charged with related counts including shooting from a vehicle.

Price added that a third person, Sebron Ray Russell, had also been arrested for taking part in a series of burglaries Le and other officers were investigating when he was shot and killed.

"Police officers go to work every day not knowing if someone with a gun, anyone with a gun, who may have access to a gun, probably shouldn't have a gun ... will use it recklessly for no reason at all," Price said.

"I told the family ... I will do everything within the confines of our legal process to make sure that the man we believe shot and killed Officer Le will spend the rest of his life in prison."

Allison said he could not get into additional details about the shooting circumstances because the investigation is ongoing and he expects more people will be arrested. He also said additional charges may be filed against Sanders and Brown as the probe unfolds.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said the shooting of Le has been "very hard and difficult" not only for the officer's family but for the city as well, saying, "We are all grieving."

On Dec. 29, Le was shot when he and other officers came upon a small crew of alleged burglars. One of the burglars shot at officers several times, striking Lee as he sat in an unmarked police vehicle. He was taken to a local hospital where he died several hours later.