An independent report on the March 2009 slayings of four Oakland police officers released Wednesday concluded that two SWAT team members lost their lives in a poorly planned "ad hoc" raid in search of the killer that should have been called off.
"The failure of the senior command to stop (the raid) and implement other tactical alternatives was of serious concern," said a panel of law enforcement veterans who held three days of hearings last fall into the slayings of SWAT team Sgts. Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai, along with Sgt. Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege.
The deadly raid at an East Oakland apartment was ordered in the aftermath of the fatal shootings of Dunakin and Hege during a traffic stop at MacArthur Boulevard and 74th Avenue at 1:15 p.m. March 21.
Police quickly identified the killer, 26-year-old parolee and rape suspect Lovelle Mixon, who ran from his car after the slayings. Within about 30 minutes, two police lieutenants fielded tips that Mixon had fled around the corner to a ground-floor apartment at 2755 74th Ave., the report found.