Oakland, Calif. Relatives of the man suspected of fatally shooting three Oakland police officers said Sunday the 26-year-old parolee was frustrated about not finding work and feared returning to jail.
The suspect, Lovelle Mixon, was slain in a gunfight with police during which two officers were killed Saturday, authorities said. Another officer was fatally shot earlier in the day and a fourth gravely wounded after the two of them pulled Mixon over for a routine traffic stop, police said.
Mixon’s family gathered Sunday 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.
He 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.
Mixon’s uncle, 38-year-old Curtis Mixon of Fremont, said his nephew had become depressed because he could not find work as a convicted felon.
His nephew expected authorities to issue an arrest warrant for missing parole meetings, even though the he felt he was not to blame, he said. “I think his frustration was building up, but he was trying to better himself,” Curtis Mixon said.
Mixon was wanted on a no-bail warrant for violating his parole when Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, and Officer John Hege, 41, both on motorcycles, stopped a 1995 Buick sedan in east Oakland just after 1 p.m., police said.
The driver opened fire, killing Dunakin and gravely wounding Hege, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said.
Police initially issued a statement Sunday saying Hege had died but later backtracked, saying the officer had been declared brain dead but remained on life support while a decision was made about donating his organs.
Reached by telephone, Dr. John S. Hege said his son was attached to a ventilator and “looks fine” except for a black eye behind which the bullet was lodged.
“He does not have vital brain function to sustain life and will not regain that,” Hege said, adding that the family would soon make a decision about continuing life support.
After shooting Hege and Dunakin, the gunman fled on foot, police said, leading to an intense manhunt.
Two hours later, officers found the gunman inside a nearby apartment building. When a SWAT team entered, the gunman opened fire, police said.