Three Oakland police officers slain

Suspected parole violator fatally shot after manhunt

OAKLAND, Calif. – In one of the deadliest police shootings in California history, three Oakland officers were killed and a fourth gravely wounded in two incidents Saturday that began with a routine traffic stop, police officials said.

“It is in these moments that words are extraordinarily inadequate,” Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said. “We come together in shock and grief and sadness and sorrow.”

The officers who died were Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, Officer Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35. Officer John Hege, 41, was in grave condition at Highland Hospital late Saturday.

The suspect, Lovelle Mixon, was also killed in the gunfire. Mixon, 27, was wanted on a no-bail warrant for violating his parole on a conviction of assault with deadly weapon.

Oakland Police Department Acting Chief Howard A. Jordan said “everyone is pouring out their hearts,” referring to the panel of civic leaders behind him at a news conference Saturday night, including Dellums and California Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former Oakland mayor. Jordan said handling the deaths will be a “traumatic and daunting task” but praised the resilience of his 800-officer department.

“We will get over this,” he said. “It won’t be easy. We will move on from this.”

The violence began at 1:08 p.m. when Dunakin and Hege, who were motorcycle officers, pulled over a 1995 Buick on MacArthur Boulevard in east Oakland. At 1:16 p.m., a call came into the department saying two officers were down and needed medical attention. The driver had stepped out of the car and fired at the officers before fleeing into the neighborhood, authorities said.

Police launched a “very extensive manhunt,” said department spokesman Jeff Thomason. Several streets were blocked off and a helicopter flew overhead. Police then received a tip that a possible suspect was barricaded inside a nearby apartment building.

About 3:20 p.m., SWAT officers entered the multiunit building on 74th Avenue, down the street from the first shooting. Authorities said the suspect immediately fired at officers with an assault weapon, hitting three of them. SWAT officers “returned fire in defense of their lives,” Jordan said.

Romans and Sakai died. The third officer, who was not identified Saturday, was treated and released.

Thomason said that the investigation is ongoing but that officers were “not searching for anybody else right now.”

Click here to comment on this story »



Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile