The Oakland, Calif., man who was shot to death by police after killing four police officers Saturday had an extensive criminal record and was on parole for assault at the time of the incident, CNN reported. He also had prior convictions for grand theft.
The gunman – Lovelle Mixon, 26, of Oakland – was killed by SWAT officers Saturday following a fierce gunfight in an apartment complex. The ordeal began in the afternoon in east Oakland when two motorcycle cops attempted to make a routine traffic stop, according to Deputy Police Chief Dave Kozicki.
Emergency dispatchers then received a call that two officers – John Hege, 41 and Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40 – were down and needed help. Hege was pronounced brain dead about noon Sunday, but remains on life support until a decision is made on organ donation, according to Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason. Dunakin, an 18-year veteran of the force, died Saturday.
The shooting sparked an intensive manhunt for the gunman, which led officers to an apartment complex. When they entered, Mixon fired on them, killing two more police officers, Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35. Romans had been with the department since 1996; Sakai since 2000.
Calling it a “tragic day for law enforcement officers everywhere,” California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “All four officers dedicated their lives to public safety and selflessly worked to protect the people of Oakland," said Schwarzenegger, who ordered flags at the state Capitol to be flown at half-staff.
Relatives of Mixon said he was frustrated at not finding work and feared returning to jail.
His cousin, LaTasha Mixon, told reporters that her cousin was "not a monster" and described his family as "devastated" by his death.