State: OPD Suspect's Parole Handled Properly

The killings have some questioning parole system

A preliminary report says the parolee who allegedly killed four Oakland police officers was properly monitored by corrections officials after he was released from prison.

The fallen officers  are Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville, Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley and Officer John Hege, 41, of Concord.
Lovelle Mixon, 26, had been wanted on a parole violation when last weekend's shootings happened.

The state inspector general said Wednesday that Mixon's parole officers "followed all appropriate supervision, drug testing, and even job assistance." It says officials also properly notified authorities after Mixon failed to check in with his parole officer on Feb. 19.

The office did the independent review for the state corrections department.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has called for better monitoring of parolees, and his office plans to conduct its own review.

On Tuesday, a source told NBC Bay Area that Mixon had been tentatively linked by DNA evidence to the February rape of a 12-year-old girl in Oakland.

Police got the DNA hit Friday.  The source says police had been looking for Mixon and had visited his grandmother's house Friday.

That news leads some to speculate Mixon knew he was "hot" and may have motivated him to fire at the officers Saturday when they pulled him over for a traffic violation.

The rape happened at MacArthur and 4th Streets in Oakland. That is within a block of where the first shooting happened.

Mixon was wanted on a no-bail warrant for a parole violation.

Over the weekend, his relatives said he was frustrated about not finding work and feared returning to jail.

They gathered at his grandmother's East Oakland home, where he had stayed on and off since being released from a nine-month sentence for a parole violation, family members said.

One of his sisters told reporters, "He was not a monster."

Mixon had previously served six years in state prison for assault with a firearm during an armed robbery in San Francisco, the family said. While he was in Corcoran State Prison, he married his childhood girlfriend, they said.

The Saturday shooting began just after 1 p.m. when Dunakin and Hege pulled Mixon over for a routine traffic stop.

Mixon, who was wanted on a no-bail warrant for violating his parole and assault with a deadly weapon, shot both traffic officers and then fled to a nearby apartment complex.

Police called in a SWAT team, which attempted to enter the apartment, and Mixon began firing at the officers, killing Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, and grazing a third officer.

Officers returned fire and killed Mixon.

Dunakin, Romans and Sakai were pronounced dead on Saturday. Hege remained on life support until early Tuesday.  His body was given a police escort from Highland Hospital before sunrise after his organs were successfully harvested.

Emotions ran high on the streets of Oakland Tuesday night at the exact location where the violent killing spree began Saturday. Before the violence was over, four police officers and one suspect were dead.

The Oakland City Council organized the vigil for the slain officers at 74th and MacArthur Blvd. and hundreds of people filled the streets to offer their support. Many held candles.

Several blocks of busy MacArthur Blvd. were shut down for hours so people could come to sing and pray and hear from clergy.

The event was a peaceful one.

Most of the officers will have private funerals in their home towns during the week with an official funeral set to honor all four on Friday at 11 a.m. inside the Oracle Arena.

It is expected that thousands will attend the Friday service.

Capt. Paul Figueroa said officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Boston Police Department and other police and fire departments from around the country are expected to attend.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference at Oakland police headquarters, Figueroa became emotional after he said he's spent some time with the families of the slain officers and described them as "the most honorable folks." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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