Oakland SWAT Back in Action

  Four male suspects were arrested this morning after a standoff with Oakland police related to a burglary, police Lt. Mike Poirier said.
Poirier said police responded to the 1400 block of 85th Avenue after a resident called police at 4:15 a.m. to report suspicious activity at  a single-family house.

Officers surrounded the home and closed down nearby streets, and witnessed several people flee into nearby yards, Poirier said. As the  suspects fled, police heard a gunshot.

Police later saw some of the suspects climb onto the roofs of nearby homes in an attempt to escape, Poirier said.

Because a gun was involved, the Oakland Police Department's SWAT team was called in and was assisted by the Alameda County Sheriff's SWAT  team, Poirier said.

Capt. Edward Tracey, who heads Oakland's SWAT team, said the four suspects were arrested shortly before 9 a.m. Two were arrested on a rooftop  and the other two were arrested in backyards, he said.

One had suffered a gunshot wound to a lower extremity and was taken to Highland Hospital. The wound was not considered life-threatening,  Poirier said.

The suspects' names have not yet been released.

Tracey said police officials don't believe officers fired any shots, but that they are investigating the incident to verify that.

Poirier praised neighborhood residents for providing information that assisted the officers who responded.

Tracey said residents applauded and chanted in support of SWAT team members after the suspects were arrested.

"We were pleasantly surprised, and we welcome it," Tracey said. "Our officers put their lives on the line and this fuels their fire to do  their job and do it well."

The standoff occurred about a mile from where wanted parolee Lovelle Mixon shot and killed four Oakland police officers on March 21.

Two of the officers, Sgts. Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai, were  shot as a SWAT team they were part of closed in on Mixon as he hid out in a  home on 74th Avenue near MacArthur Boulevard. Mixon was also killed in the  shootout.

Oakland's SWAT team was temporarily removed from action after the  March 21 killings because Romans and Sakai were unit leaders and new leaders  had to be trained. The Alameda County sheriff's SWAT detail handled Oakland's  SWAT calls for more than two months.

Tracey was scrutinized for his handling of the March 21 incident but Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan retained him as the team's leader.

Tracey said that today's call was the third incident Oakland's SWAT team has handled since it resumed operations several weeks ago. All  three calls have gone well, he said.

The lobby of the Police Department's Eastmont substation still contains a memorial to the four slain officers, consisting of flowers,  messages and balloons. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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