Possible motive emerges in officer slayings

March 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The public put their heartfelt emotions on paper Monday for the fallen Oakland officers who were killed in the line of duty over the weekend. The California State Assembly also held a moment of silence to honor the men who gave their lives.

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While lawmakers paused, investigators pressed forward to understand precisely what happened on the deadliest day in Oakland Police history.

Three officers were killed outright in a shootout with a parole violator. A fourth officer, John Hege is on life support until his organs can be harvested.

A possible motive emerged Monday night for why Lovelle Mixon went on the shooting rampage. Police sources told ABC7 that Mixon was the key suspect in an Oakland rape that happened in February. They tentatively matched his DNA to biological evidence in that case. A source says the police are also looking to see if he matches any other rape cases.

People have been showing up all day to show their support. There has been an outpouring of emotion all around the city.

In front of the apartment where the shooting occurred Saturday there are memorials literally on every corner.

The memorials are growing by the day and can be seen in front of and inside the Oakland Police Department. At the site on MacArthur Boulevard where the tragedy began with a routine traffic stop five flags honor the five officers who were shot.

People who never met the officers poured into Oakland's City Hall Monday to offer their condolences.

"Every day our officers put their lives on the line and you never know, if you just stop a car for whatever reason, if you are going to be able to walk away," said Oakland resident Pauline Zazulak.

As the public grieves the deaths of three officers and a fourth who was declared brain dead, the investigation into what happened begins.

"It's less than 72 hours. We still have a lot of witnesses to interview. A lot of officers who cannot provide interviews at this point because they are pretty upset about what happened," Chief Jordan told ABC7.

More details are also emerging about what went on inside the East Oakland apartment building where it all ended.

The wanted parolee initially shot the two motor officers who pulled him over. ABC7 also confirmed late Monday night that Mixon then stood over the patrol cops and shot them again, execution style in the head. He then fled to his sister's apartment and fired a semiautomatic weapon as he hid in closet. The bullets blasted through walls.

"One officer went down immediately. He was carried out by his colleagues, his comrades," said attorney Harry Stern. Stern is representing two Oakland police officers and an Alameda County sheriff's deputy who shot and killed Mixon.

"The officers remaining in the apartment literally battled their way to the backroom. They were facing fire from what we can only describe as a military-style weapon," Stern explained.

The fifth officer who was shot received only minor injuries and survived. He went on to be among the group who killed Mixon.

"He received a substantial wound in the shoulder but he continued to fight on to the back room," Stern said.

Hundreds of officers responded to the scene on Saturday. The sheriff's deputy who survived the shooting is usually scheduled to work out of the Oakland International Airport, but when he heard the call on the radio about the officers being shot he responded to the apartment building.

He was supposed to be on guard at the perimeter of the apartment standing outside the door. When he saw just how bad the situation was he went inside to help and became one of those among the group who shot and killed Mixon.

Memorials and Vigils for officers

The community has created a spontaneous memorial of flowers, flags and notes at the door step of the Oakland Police Department.

There is a book of condolence at Oakland City Hall people can sign. The book will be available daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m..

A vigil to honor the fallen officers will take place Tuesday evening, at the scene of the shootings. That will begin at 6 p.m., at 74th Avenue and Macarthur Boulevard.

A police memorial will be held Friday, March 27, 2009 at 11 a.m. at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The services will be open to the public. Officers from outside agencies and attendees should arrive early. We will be streaming the memorial here at ABC7News.COM.

Trust funds for fallen officers

Trust funds have been established for the fallen officers. People who wish to make contributions to the funds have two options:

1. Individual Checks made out to families and mailed to c/o OPOA:
Attn: Rennee Hassna
555 5th Street
Oakland Ca, 94607

Checks should be made out to the following:
a. Dunakin Children's Family Trust
b. Romans Children's Family Trust
c. Sakai Family Trust

2. Wire transfers directly to Merrill Lynch Accounts:
a. Dunakin Children's Family Trust a/c #204-04065
b. Romans Children's Family Trust a/c #204-04066
c. Sakai Family Trust a/c #204-04064

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