Shot Oakland Officer Taken Off Life Support
ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
In Oakland, California, a hospital spokesman says police officer John Hege was taken off life support late last night. A lone suspect shot Hege and killed three other officers on Saturday in a pair of bloody confrontations.
From member station KQED, Cy Musiker reports on a city in mourning.
CY MUSIKER: On Monday, at the corner of 74th and MacArthur Boulevard, someone had left plastic paint buckets filled with water and flowers. Four buckets bore the names of the dead officers: Sergeants Mark Dunakin, John Hege, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai.
A few feet away, Hamid Hashimi(ph) looks on from the doorway of his pharmacy. I asked him a question I've asked everyone: How does Oakland heal itself after the horror of Saturday's shootings?
Mr. HAMID HASHIMI: Actually, it's all up to the police department now. They have to bring a lot of cops on the streets. And in my opinion, I think police has to do a lot to secure the city.
MUSIKER: Half a block down 74th Street is the small apartment building where the suspect, Lovelle Mixon, holed up after shooting the two motorcycle cops. This is where Mixon shot three other officers, killing two of them before police cut him down. Blood still stains the broken tile of the hallway. Half a dozen women stand outside, among them Dolores Darnell, Lovelle Mixon's cousin.
Ms. DOLORES DARNELL: Somebody got to be out here for him because there ain't nobody out here for him, but everybody out here for the police. He was a person, too.
MUSIKER: Darnell has set up a memorial to Mixon here with flowers and cards, along with a photograph of Oscar Grant. He's the African-American grocery store clerk shot by BART transit police on New Year's Day. Darnell says many in this mostly black, mostly poor neighborhood have suffered from police abuse and are as scared of police as they are dependent on them.
Ms. DARNELL: Tragedy on both sides, though. We feel for the family of the police, and we feel for our own family. You feel me? It ain't like we just don't care about the police because I feel for them because I love the Oakland police. They look out for us when we really need them.
(Soundbite of footsteps)
MUSIKER: There are no mixed feelings at Oakland City Hall, as people lined up to sign condolence books for each of the four officers who died.
Mitch Harden(ph) is on the board of a housing group and worked to stop crime in West Oakland with Sergeant Daniel Sakai.
Mr. MITCH HARDEN: I knew him. We'd been working with him in West Oakland, and he was just a fantastic person.
MUSIKER: Oakland has many parolees and a high crime rate. Harden said for Oakland to heal itself, it must find new ways to stop violence with mediation and appeals to people's better nature.
Mr. HARDEN: The larger body of folks want peace and want to see this city go forward and enjoy its greatness in the future because there is going to be a future.
MUSIKER: Oakland city officials have scheduled a vigil tonight at the scene of the shootings in East Oakland.
For NPR News, I'm Cy Musiker.
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