Four Oakland police officers, from Danville, Concord, Castro Valley, and formerly of Pleasanton, dead
Grief, horror spread throughout East Bay communities following two gun battles between police and a parolee that killed four Oakland police officers.
Sgt. Ervin Romans, of Danville, was a member of the Oakland Police Department's SWAT team. He was pronounced dead after being shot while trying to enter an apartment building in search of the suspect in the earlier shootings of his fellow officers.
Three Oakland police sergeants, including a veteran SWAT team member from Danville, and a traffic officer from Concord, were killed after being shot by a parolee in two related gun battles in East Oakland's troubled MacArthur Boulevard neighborhood Saturday afternoon. The gunman was also killed.
The Oakland Tribune called Saturday's killings the most horrific day of Oakland Police Department history, The slain sergeants are: Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville, and father of three; Dan Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley, a father of a 4-year-old daughter; and Mark Dunakin, 41, of Tracy who grew up in Pleasanton, graduated from Foothill High School in 1987 and leaves behind three children. Both Romans and Sakai were SWAT team members. Traffic Officer John Hege, 41, of Concord, clung to life at Highland Hospital, but was said to be brain dead on Sunday and remained on life support until Monday so that his organs could be donated.
The suspect was identified as Lovelle Mixon, 26, of Oakland who was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon. He had no-bail warrant for his arrest for violating parole. He had previous convictions in Alameda County for grand theft and possession of marijuana. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that he was under investigation by Oakland police for a 2007 homicide and a rape earlier this year.
KTVU.com's anchor Ken Wayne called the incident one of the saddest in the history of Bay Area law enforcement, and the station later reported that Saturday's violence involved the third highest number of officer deaths in California law enforcement history.
The violence started at at about 1:15 p.m. with a routine traffic stop of a 1995 Buick at 74th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, one block from the Eastmont police substation. Gunfire rang out. Two motorcycle traffic officers, John Hege and Mark Dunakin, were fatally wounded, and the suspect reportedly fled on foot. News reports say Dunakin was pronounced dead at the scene, while Hege, with a brain injury, was rushed to Highland Hospital in Oakland.
About two hours later, police learned that Mixon was hiding in an apartment building at Hillside Street and 74th Avenue, about a block from the first shooting scene. Officers, including SWAT team members Romans and Sakai, were trying to enter the apartment building. In an exchange of gunfire, Romans and Sakai were fatally wounded, as was Mixon