- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California’s attorney general is calling for better monitoring of parole violators after a parolee killed three Oakland police officers and left a fourth brain-dead. Police said the gunman has been tentatively linked to a February rape.

DNA found at the scene of the rape was a probable match to Lovelle Mixon, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said Monday night.

Investigators got that information Friday, the day before a routine traffic stop ended in gunfire. Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, was killed and Officer John Hege, 41, was left brain-dead. About two hours later, two more officers, Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, were killed at a nearby apartment, before Mixon was fatally shot.

Hege was still on life support late Monday.

Flowers piled up outside Oakland police headquarters and books brimmed with condolences. A vigil was planned for Tuesday evening at the corner near where the two motorcycle officers pulled over Mixon.



“This is the biggest tragedy ever to hit our department,” Oakland police Sgt. Mark Schmid said. “We’re just numb and walking around like zombies. We feel each other’s pain but we don’t know how to explain it.”

California prison records show that authorities had issued a warrant for Mixon’s arrest after he failed to make a mandatory meeting with his parole officer on Feb. 19.

The family said he had previously served six years in state prison for assault with a firearm during an armed robbery in San Francisco. More recently, he had served several months in prison last year.

State Attorney General Jerry Brown said he will examine how Mixon, 26, was monitored following his release from prison in November. Mixon also was a suspect in a murder but was never charged, according to state prison officials.

“Mixon was certainly a character that needed more supervision,” said Brown, the former mayor of Oakland. “In Oakland, the highway patrol has an office there, sheriff and police. And all those agencies should have a list of the more dangerous, threatening parolees so they can keep a watch on them.”

Problems involving parolees from California’s overcrowded prison system have long beset state officials who must monitor them, local officials who try to keep streets safe and federal authorities who enforce firearms and other laws.

Mixon was one of 164 Oakland parolees in mid-March who had outstanding arrest warrants for parole violations, state prison records show.

The city of 400,000 had more than 1,900 total parolees at the time, including nearly 300 who had been returned to custody or whose parole was about to be revoked.

During traffic stops, police often check vehicle records to find whether the driver has outstanding warrants. But police have not disclosed how Saturday’s shooting unfolded.

Mixon’s family members said he was upset that he was unable to find work, felt his parole officer was not helping him and feared he would be arrested for a parole violation.

State prison officials said Mixon’s parole officer was responsible for 70 parolees.

A caseload of that size is nearly unmanageable, and also not unusual, said Lance Corcoran, spokesman for California’s prison guard union, which includes parole officers.

“There is no control,” Corcoran said. “It’s simply supervision, and supervision at distance.”

___

Associated Press writers Josh Dubow, Lisa Leff and Juliana Barbassa in San Francisco and Terry Collins in Oakland contributed to this report.

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