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3 California Police Officers Dead, Gunman Killed After Traffic Stop


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When peace officers die in the line of duty because of guys like this, it's especially hard. I'm outraged. It took three and possibly four good men to take out one piece of pooh pooh.


OAKLAND, Calif. — A man wanted for violating his parole killed three veteran police officers and gravely wounded another in two shootings Saturday, the first after a routine traffic stop and the second after a massive manhunt ended in gunfire, authorities said. The gunman was also killed.


"It's in these moments that words are extraordinarily inadequate," said Mayor Ron Dellums at a somber news conference announcing the slayings. It was the first time in the history of the Oakland Police Department that three officers were killed in the line of duty in the same day.


The violence began when two officers on motorcycles stopped a 1995 Buick sedan in east Oakland just after 1 p.m., Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. The driver opened fire, killing one officer and gravely wounding another.


The gunman then fled on foot, police said, leading to an intense manhunt by dozens of Oakland police, California Highway Patrol officers and Alameda County sheriff deputies. Streets were roped off and an entire area of east Oakland closed to traffic.


Around 3:30 p.m. officers got an anonymous tip that the gunman was inside a nearby apartment building. A SWAT team entered an apartment to clear and search it when the gunman opened fire, police said. Two members of the SWAT team were killed and a third was grazed by a bullet, police said.


Officers returned fire, killing 26-year-old Lovelle Mixon of Oakland, Acting Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said.


The slain officers were identified as Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, who was killed at the first shooting. The officers killed at the second location were Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35. Officer John Hege, 41, was in grave condition.


Reached by telephone late Saturday, Hege's father, Dr. John S. Hege said, "He had an injury to his brain ... and it's not clear he can survive. ... It is a stunning thing to face, although we were always aware of the risks."


Hege, a retired physician from neighboring Piedmont, said his son loved being a policeman. He worked well with people and was an Eagle Scout. He played high school football and wrestled. He umpired and coached even as a youth, and joined the Oakland Police Department reserves.


After graduating from St, Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., he taught high school physical education for a few years in nearby Hayward before joining the police department a decade ago.


He recently became a motorcyle traffic patrol officer, Dr. Hege said, adding, "He liked excitement."


As for the slain shooting suspect, the father said, "The man was evidently terribly desperate. It is a sad story..."


Grieving officers at the police station hugged and consoled each other.


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it was a tragic day.


"All four officers dedicated their lives to public safety and selflessly worked to protect the people of Oakland," he said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those lost, the Oakland Police Department and law enforcement officers throughout California during this difficult time."


Police said Mixon wielded two different weapons. One gun was used at the first scene and an assault rifle was used at the apartment building where he was hiding.


"(Mixon) was on parole and he had a warrant out for his arrest for violating that parole. And he was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon," said Oakland police Deputy Chief Jeffery Israel.


Police said they did not know why the officers initially stopped the suspect, but said it apparently was a routine traffic stop. Thomason said Mixon had an "extensive criminal history" and was wanted on a no-bail warrant.


People lingered at the scene of the first shooting. About 20 bystanders taunted police.


Tension between police and the community has risen steadily since the fatal shooting of unarmed 22-year-old Oscar Grant by a transit police officer at an Oakland train station on Jan. 1.


That former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer, Johannes Mehserle, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday. Violent protests erupted on the streets of Oakland in the weeks after Grant's death, further inflaming tensions.


Officer deaths are nothing new in Oakland. The memorial wall in the Oakland Police headquarters shows that at least 47 officers died before Saturday. The wall shows the last officer killed in Oakland was in January of 1999.


People left four bouquets of white roses under the granite wall inside the building lobby.


The governor's office said Schwarzenegger would fly to Oakland on Sunday from Washington, D.C., to meet with police and Mayor Dellums to "get a firsthand account of what's happening." Both state Attorney General Jerry Brown and Dellums were at Saturday's news conference.

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Just goes to show - not all people are "human". I'm just glad the taxpayers were spared the millions of $ tab for trials and incarceration.


I wonder what the final tab for the survivors benefits will be for the 4 families.


Here's what I find most distressing: I know with absolute certainty that this isn't the first time this particular individual has come to the attention of authorities. No; I don't know the man. But I DO know the "system". These types of people have long ago been noticed for their conduct and offenses. They've been kicked out of school, arrested for petty crimes, been counseled for any number of problems and behaviors, been in some kind of trouble or another for most of their lives. And the "specialists" that are educated in the miraculous ways of saving people from themselves have been observing and studying these people their entire lives. Problem is nobody does anything about it until something tragic occurs. I'm watching it happen in a family here. I'm waiting for someone to die and then someone else to say "How could this have happened??!!"


It happened because no one did anything, even when they KNEW the perp was a useless, violent piece of excrement, ticking like a time-bomb. He has his rights, you know.


Condolences to the friends and families of the victims. And to the family of the murderous piece of garbage who did this. I suspect none of them will ever get over it.

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Yeah, it does suck ***, but do you know what bothers me even more? Why the damn media cant show the GOOD POSITIVE stuff, i mean damn...


This obviously should be on the news, but lets get real, if the policemen just took out the criminal and none of them died, it wouldnt have made news, but of course, since someone on the good side died, we lose our ****.

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Yeah' date=' it does suck ***, but do you know what bothers me even more? Why the damn media cant show the GOOD POSITIVE stuff, i mean damn...


This obviously should be on the news, but lets get real, if the policemen just took out the criminal and none of them died, it wouldnt have made news, but of course, since someone on the good side died, we lose our ****. [/quote']


Ratings it's called ratings.](*,)

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