Churches Hold Services for Slain CA Officers

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Prayer services were held across Oakland, Calif., Sunday, in honor of four police officers who were shot in the line of duty just the day before.

Three officers were killed Saturday during separate confrontations with a 26-year-old parolee. A fourth officer is brain dead from his injury and is on life support. It was the worst single-day death toll for the Oakland police department in its history.

"We lose officers about every 57 hours in this country," Chuck Canterbury, president of the national Fraternal Order of Police, told The Associated Press. "But seldom do you have one of this magnitude."

All four officers were shot by parolee Lovelle Mixon of Oakland. Mixon fled after shooting the first two officers following a routine traffic stop. Then he shot two more after a SWAT team entered an apartment where he was hiding.

Mixon was killed in the firefight.

Dr. John S. Hege, the father of the fourth officer, says his son will stay on life support while the family makes a decision about donating his organs.

"He does not have vital brain function to sustain life and will not regain that," Hege said.

Hope Community Church is just blocks from where the shootings happened. Members honored the officers who paid the ultimate price.

Bouquets of flowers from grieving residents were also piled up at a make-shift memorial in front of the Oakland police department.


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