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3 officers dead, suspect killed in Oakland, Calif.
Posted on: 22-03-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

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 just after 1 p.m. when two officers stopped a Buick sedan in east Oakland, said Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason. The driver opened fire, killing one officer and gravely 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 eastOakland closed to traffic.

At about 3:30 p.m. 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 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.

Somber officers at the police station hugged and 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.

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 did not say why the officers had initially stopped the suspect, other than to call the stop routine.

 
 

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