Just Another Guy with Opinions

4 Dead Police, 1 Dead Suspect

Posted by shadmia on March 23, 2009

5 people lost their lives on the streets of Oakland, Ca. on Saturday March 21, 2009. Four of those people were police officers attached to the Oakland police department. They were slain by the gunman, Lovelle Mixon, 26, who was also killed. Acting Oakland police chief, Howard Jordan gave this account of the incident at a news conference:

The Dead Are:

Sgt Mark Dunakin

Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, assigned to the traffic division, joined the department in 1991.

Officer John Hege

Officer John Hege, 41, assigned to the traffic division, joined the department in 1999.

Sgt Ervin Romans

Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, Swat officer, joined the department in 1996

Sgt Daniel Sakai

Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, Swat officer, joined the department in 2000

Lovelle Mixon

Lovelle Mixon, 26, the gunman wanted on a parole violation

The incident started at around 1:15 pm on Saturday when two motorcycle officers, Sgt. Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege, stopped a 1995 Buick driven by Lovelle Mixon in the 7400 block of MacArthur Boulevard. Unknown to the officers at the time, Lovelle Mixon was wanted on a no-bail warrant for violating parole. He was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon. Before the officers could approach the vehicle, Mixon opened fire with an assault rifle, gunning down both of them.

Mixon fled the scene and entered a three story apartment building at the corner of 74th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard where his sister lived. Police converged on the scene after being tipped off that Mixon was in the building. At around 3:30 pm police stormed the building and entered the apartment where Mixon was hiding. As they approached a locked closet they were met by a  barrage of gunfire coming from within. Three officers were wounded, two mortally, as the police returned fire killing the gunman.

There was some controversy about Lovelle Mixon’s status. He was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an armed robbery in San Francisco. He had served six years in Corcoran State prison before being paroled and another 9 months for violating that parole. He was released again from prison in November 2008. He ran into trouble with his parole officer after missing an appointment and feared that he would be arrested and sent back to prison. When he was stopped by the police, the family claimed that he was looking for a parking spot for the car he had just recently bought from someone in San Francicso. They said he did not have the paper work for the car.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered flags at the state capitol flown at half-staff Sunday. Schwarzenegger returned from Washington, D.C., to meet briefly with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and members of the police department Sunday afternoon. His office released a statement late Sunday night saying that both Mark Dunakin, who lived in Tracy, and Ervin Romans, who lived in Danville, left behind a wife and three children.

Police said never in the department’s history had so many officers been killed in the line of duty in a single day. Oakland had never lost even two officers on the same day.

Friends who knew Sgt. Daniel Sakai from his days at the University of California, Berkeley and his continued involvement in his college fraternity said he was married to a campus police officer and was a father. He and his family lived in Castro Valley. He was an accomplished mountain biker and outdoorsman who majored in forestry and graduated in 1995. As an undergraduate at Berkeley, Sakai worked for the campus police department as a student volunteer. After graduation, Sakai spent a year in Japan teaching English.

“His honor was extremely important to him. Whenever there was a situation where someone could take the path that was less honorable, he always advocated doing the right thing,” said Oren Levy, a fraternity brother of Sakai. “Being a police officer was really perfect for him.”

Officer John Hege’s father said his son, who lived in Concord, 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, 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 motorcycle traffic patrol officer, Hege said, adding, “He liked excitement.”

LaTasha Mixon, 28, of Sacramento said her cousin was “not a monster.” She said her family’s prayers were with the slain officers’ relatives.

“We’re devastated. Everybody took a major loss. We’re crushed,” she said.

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One Response to “4 Dead Police, 1 Dead Suspect”

  1. V.E.G. said

    Ervin Julius Romans is the fifth generation great-grandfather of Barent Romans, a mapmaker and a officer of the American Revolution and the tenth generation great-grandfather of Wolfert Webber, a legendary son of the Dutch King.

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