Mon, Mar 23, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Man violates parole, kills three cops in California


A man wanted for violating his parole killed three police officers and gravely wounded another in two shootings on 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.

The violence began on Saturday afternoon when two officers stopped a Buick sedan in Oakland, California, police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. The driver opened fire, killing one officer and seriously wounding the second.

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.

About two-and-a-half hours later, officers, acting on an anonymous tip, found the suspect barricaded inside an apartment building, police said.

Police said the gunman fired an assault rifle at officers who came into the building to arrest him. Two members of the SWAT team were killed and a third was grazed by a bullet, police said.

Acting Oakland police chief Howard Jordan said police returned fire, killing a man they identified as 26-year-old Lovelle Mixon of Oakland.

The slain officers were identified as Sergeant Mark Dunakin, 40, who was killed at the first shooting, and sergeants Ervin Romans, 43, and Daniel Sakai, 35, who were killed at the second location.

Officer John Hege, 41, was in serious condition.

Somber officers at the police station consoled each other.

“This is probably one of the worst incidents that has ever taken place in this history of the Oakland police department,” Thomason said.

“[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,” Oakland police Deputy Chief Jeffery Israel said.

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

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

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