Sometimes there aren't two sides with the truth lying somewhere in between. It's up to professional journalists to figure right from wrong. The original story by staff writers Demian Bulwa and Jaxon Van Derbeken reported:
"He's not a monster," said his sister, 24-year-old Enjoli Mixon, who said her 4-year-old daughter's bedroom in a small apartment on 74th Avenue was the scene of much of the bloodshed. It was there, police said, where Mixon fired through a closet wall at a team of SWAT officers, who then shot and killed him. "I don't want people to think he's a monster. He's just not. He's just not."
"We're crushed that this happened," added the gunman's grandmother, Mary Mixon. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the officers' families. ... This shouldn't have happened."
His family said that while he was behind bars, Mixon married his childhood girlfriend, Amara Langston, and worked briefly as a janitor in Hayward once he got out. He was most recently released from prison in November, his family said.
Then, about three weeks ago, Mixon skipped a home visit from his parole officer, his family said. Mixon's grandmother said he had gotten angry at his parole officer because the agent had missed earlier appointments.
Mary Mixon recalled that her grandson said at one point that he was even willing to go back to prison as a way to get a new parole officer. She said, she did not know where her grandson had been staying for the past few weeks.
Mixon was having a phone conversation with his uncle, Curtis Mixon, just before the first shooting. "He said, 'The police just pulled up behind me. Let's see what's going on. I'll hit you back.'"
Curtis Mixon said, "He never hit me back."
Wow. Poor guy finally getting his life together after some bad breaks. Then he just flips.
Of course that's not the case. It turns out he is a monster.
In the reporters' defense, they've redeemed themselves somewhat with some good follow up stories. Jaxon Van Derbeken notes that Lovelle Mixon had been linked by DNA to a rape earlier this year.
Mixon's DNA was on file because of his conviction in 2002 for assault with a deadly weapon in an attempted carjacking in San Francisco, for which he served six years in prison.Demian Bulwa did a much better job following up with this story filled with interesting details about ghetto life:
Oakland police had also considered Mixon a suspect in the December 2007 slaying of Ramon Stevens, 42, who was shot and killed on the street near the corner of 86th Avenue and International Boulevard. Mixon was detained on a parole violation in February 2008, but homicide investigators could not make a case.
The victim's sister said a witness had told her Mixon was the killer, authorities said. But Assistant District Attorney Tom Rogers said Monday that the witness did not want to cooperate, and Mixon was freed in November.
In March 2002, Mixon and two other attackers tried to carjack a truck, fired a shot and pistol-whipped the driver on Mission Street near Sixth Street in San Francisco.
In a sentencing report, San Francisco probation officer Yvonne Williams wrote that Mixon's juvenile record was that of a "cold-hearted individual who does not have any regard for human life." She said state prison was the only way to "to rein in this man's proclivity for violence."
"We've got to remove the word 'snitch' from our vocabulary," said the woman, who asked not to be identified because she fears retaliation.
The woman said she was hesitant at first to be seen in public telling officers what she knew.... Finally, the woman said, she found an opportunity to give her information to an officer she recognized.
She said she has been in trouble with the law in the past, but that on Saturday, "I wish I would have been a police officer."
Outside the apartment that SWAT officers stormed, a memorial for Mixon had flowers, candles and balloons. Notes read, "RIP Vell," " Money$" and "We gone miss u big cuzn." A plainclothes police officer went up to it at one point, stared at it for a second and then walked away, shaking his head.
Activists handed out flyers that invited people to a rally where they would "uphold the resistance" of "Brother Lovelle Mixon."
Many people rejected that sentiment, saying they were touched that officers had given their lives protecting others. They said they didn't understand why some were defending Mixon.
Police nailed a piece of plywood over the doorway of Mixon's sister's apartment early Monday morning, sealing it off. But curious neighbors pried it open and went inside to look around - infuriating Enjoli Mixon, who showed up later.
One neighbor, who admitted he yanked open the plywood and went inside, said he counted more than a dozen bullet holes in the walls inside the apartment. There was blood in every room, he said. The hallway outside was also scarred by apparent bullet ricochets.
Asked why he had gone into someone else's home, the man said, "I wanted to see if it was an overkill."