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Murder charges filed against third defendant in slaying of Oakland police officer

Alameda County prosecutors have filed murder charges against a third defendant in connection with the fatal shooting of an Oakland police officer, who was killed last month while responding to a report of a burglary, according to the district attorney's office.

On Friday, prosecutors filed murder charges against Marquise Cooper, 34, in the killing of Officer Tuan Le, 36, officials said. Cooper is being held without bail and is scheduled to have an initial court appearance on Tuesday, jail records show.

Earlier this month, prosecutors announced that they had filed murder charges against Mark Demetrious Sanders, 27, and Allen Starr Brown, 28, for their roles in the killing. A fourth defendant, Sebron Ray Russell, 28, was charged with burglary, according to a statement from Alameda County Dist. Atty. Pamela Price.

“I will leverage the full weight of my office against these people who we believe ruthlessly and wantonly murdered an officer,” Price said.

Le, an undercover officer, was shot and killed inside an unmarked police vehicle while responding to a report of a burglary on the morning of Dec. 29, police said.

Oakland Police Officers Assn. President Barry Donelan has described the killing as an ambush, saying that Le and the officer with him, who suffered minor injuries, “were taken entirely by surprise" and "never had an opportunity to draw their service weapons."

Born in Vietnam, Le immigrated to Oakland and graduated from the police academy in 2020, according to a tribute posted on the website of the city of Oakland.

"Officer Le was a devoted husband to his wife," the tribute reads. "His passing leaves a void in the law enforcement community, the city of Oakland, and in the hearts of those who knew him."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.