Fourth Oakland Officer Brain Dead
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 22, 2009 2:31 PM CDT
Flowers are left at the front entrance of the police station in Oakland, Calif. on Sunday, March 22, 2009.   (AP Photo/ Tony Avelar)
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(Newser) – A fourth Oakland police officer was declared brain dead today after a parolee with a "criminal history" opened fire at a traffic stop and later gunned down members of a team searching for him. Oakland Police officer John Hege, 41, was gravely injured yesterday, capping a day of violence that the Oakland Police Department said was the worst in its history. Never before had three police officers died in the line of duty on the same day.  

Doctors were keeping Hege alive on life support today. "It's in these moments that words are extraordinarily inadequate," said Mayor Ron Dellums at a somber news conference.