Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown offered support to Oakland police officers today as law enforcement officials learned of the death of the fourth officer who was shot Saturday in the deadliest altercation in the Police Department’s history.Brown said there was no official announcement to the officers assembled at the Oakland Police Officer’s Association offices, but word spread quickly among the group that Officer John Hege, 41, had died at Highland Hospital. “There’s a lot of emotion,” Brown said in a phone interview this afternoon. “The police officers are a very close-knit group.”The Alameda County coroner’s bureau confirmed Hege’s death earlier today, giving his time of death as 10:00 a.m.Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, died Saturday in two separate but related shootings. Hege had been listed in critical condition at Highland Hospital after he and Dunakin were shot by Lovelle Mixon, 26, during a routine traffic stop at 1:08 p.m. Saturday in the 7400 block of MacArthur Boulevard.Mixon then fled to a nearby apartment complex. Police called in a SWAT team and attempted to enter the apartment after several attempts to communicate with Mixon.Upon the SWAT team’s entry, Mixon fired on police with an assault weapon, killing Romans and Sakai. Mixon was also killed by officers’ return fire.A fifth officer, who has not been identified, was treated for a gunshot wound and released from the hospital Saturday. Schwarzenegger arrived in Oakland earlier today, flying directly to Oakland from Washington, D.C. The governor ordered flags at the state Capitol to be flown at half-staff in honor of the officers. Brown, who served as Oakland’s mayor for eight years, said his office would support the officers any way it could.”It’s a city that does have its challenges with crime and violence, but the city will overcome this,” he said. “It’s been making tremendous strides, but there are thousands of criminals wandering around.” Brown said the state’s parole system is in dire need of reform, including issuing GPS tracking bracelets to parolees. Mixon was a parolee and an Oakland resident, according to police. Brown said he planned to step up his pursuit of these reforms as a result of the shootings.Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner said the tragic events are a reminder of the dangers police officers voluntarily face in their efforts to protect the community.”Our hearts go out to the officers’ families and the pain they are in right now,” she said. “This is a time for us to come together and support our police officers.” Brunner said acting Chief of Police Howard Jordan is meeting with the officers’ families today. She praised Jordan’s leadership throughout the deadliest events in the department’s 157-year history. Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said details about how to make donations in honor of the fallen officers will be available by Monday.Saturday’s events prompted an outpouring of condolences and statements from elected officials and other organizations.In a statement, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums expressed sympathy for family members and the city’s police officers, “who are collectively and individually experiencing unimaginable grief and loss.” Dellums also thanked government and law enforcement agencies for an outpouring of support in the wake of the shootings and called upon residents to come together. “We are resilient,” he said. “And we must not let the impact of these events harden our hearts.”The Oakland Athletics baseball team issued a statement saying some of the officers “were fixtures working our games and some also served as team escorts.”The statement reads, “Our hearts and prayers go out to their families. We appreciate the job that they did, as we do all members of the Oakland Police Department.”
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