By MARCUS WOHLSEN, Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO – An Oakland police officer shot by a man wanted on a parole violation was taken off life support after vital organs were removed for transplantation, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The officer’s death brings to five, counting the gunman, the number of people killed in Saturday’s confrontation.
Officer John Hege was taken off life support Monday night and his heart, liver and kidneys were removed, said Andrea Breaux of.
The 41-year-old officer had been declared brain dead on Sunday but the hospital kept him on life support so his organs could be donated, in keeping with his wishes.
Four patients received the organs, she said.
Police said Hege and his partner, Sgt. Mark Dunakin, were gunned down when the two motorcycle officers pulled over parolee Lovelle Mixon on Saturday.
In the manhunt that followed, two more officers died when the city’sstormed an apartment where Mixon was hiding. The two officers who were killed at the apartment were Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35. Mixon also was killed.
“This is the biggest tragedy ever to hit our department,” Oakland police Sgt. Mark Schmid said Monday. “We’re just numb and walking around like zombies. We feel each other’s pain but we don’t know how to explain it.”
Flowers piled up outside Oakland police headquarters. A vigil was planned for Tuesday evening at the corner near where the two motorcycle officers stopped Mixon.
The incident has prompted California’s attorney general to call for better monitoring of parole violators.
DNA found at the scene of a February rape was a probable match to Mixon, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said Monday night.
Investigators got that information Friday, the day before the routine traffic stop ended in gunfire.
California prison records show that authorities had issued a warrant for Mixon’s arrest after he missed a mandatory meeting with hison Feb. 19.
His family said Mixon, 26, had served six years in state prison for assault with a firearm during an San Francisco. More recently, he served several months in prison last year for a parole violation.in
State Attorney General Jerry Brown said he will examine how Mixon was monitored following his release from prison in November. Mixon also was a suspect in a December 2007 murder but was never charged because of lack of evidence, officials said.
“Mixon was certainly a character that needed more supervision,” said Brown, the former mayor of Oakland. “In Oakland, the 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.”
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 residents 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 . 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.
said Mixon’s parole officer was responsible for 70 parolees. A caseload of that size is nearly unmanageable, but not unusual, said Lance Corcoran, spokesman for California’s prison guard union, which includes .
“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.
(This version CORRECTS that harvesting of organs completed late Monday not early Tuesday, reflecting change from hospital)