OAKLAND — Felicia Stevens wasn't surprised when she saw that Lovelle Mixon was named as the suspect who shot five police officers Saturday afternoon.
Stevens believes Mixon killed her brother in 2007.
"Somebody that was there, who saw it, told me," she said Sunday. "My brother turned to walk away from an argument and Lovelle shot him two times."
Oakland police Sgt. Lou Cruz, who is one of the investigators of the Saturday shooting, confirmed Sunday that Mixon was a "person of interest" in the slaying of Ramon Stevens, 42, who was found dead near the corner of 86th Avenue and International Boulevard on Dec. 30, 2007. Cruz said, however, that police could never gather enough evidence to charge Mixon with murder.
"There is no direct evidence that Mixon committed that crime, the murder of Ramon Stevens," Cruz said. "There is nobody saying, 'I saw Lovelle Mixon shoot Ramon Stevens.' Not one witness."
The slaying occurred two months after Mixon was released from prison after serving a five-year sentence for assault with a firearm, for a carjacking in San Francisco. Mixon was released in October 2007 from the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility.
Felicia Stevens said the failure to solve the case had left her frustrated.
Stevens, whose nephew is Mixon's cousin, said she talked with Oakland police after her brother was killed. She knew one witness who saw the shooting but refused to speak with police for fear of retribution from Mixon, she said.
She said she told police that her brother owed Mixon $30 for what she suspected were drugs and that she heard Mixon was the killer.
"They told me, they couldn't just go and arrest him," she said.
Although police could not gather enough evidence to prove Mixon killed Stevens, he was sent back to prison for violating his parole. Mixon was found to have committed five parole violations, including possession of drug paraphernalia, identification theft, forgery, attempted grand theft and receiving stolen property.
Mixon was arrested Feb. 5, 2008, and sent back to prison Feb. 26, 2008, for nine months.
When Mixon was released in November, his family said Sunday, he had learned his lesson.
He planned to do better, family members said, and he wanted to meet the requirements mandated by his second term on parole.
The only problem was that he did not know how.
"He didn't know really where to start," said Mixon's wife, Amara Langston, 25. "He was trying to make himself a better person and trying to realize his mistakes and what he was doing was wrong."
Mixon tried to abide by the terms of his parole, family members said, but continued to encounter obstacles.
His parole officer failed to attend a scheduled meeting, family members said. He couldn't find a job. He was depressed.
"He wasn't being treated right and wanted to get rehabilitated and find a job," said Mixon's uncle, Curtis Mixon.
Lovelle Mixon was on his cell phone with his uncle, talking about his new burgundy Buick with 22-inch rims, when he was pulled over by two motorcycle officers.
His uncle, who did not know his nephew was carrying weapons, never heard from him again.
Just three months after being released from prison, Mixon skipped a meeting with his parole officer in February, immediately resulting in a no-bail warrant for his arrest.
Mixon was ready to go back to prison, said his grandmother, Mary Mixon, if only to get a new parole officer upon his release.
But when he was stopped Saturday afternoon, Mixon apparently decided prison was not where he wanted to be. He shot at the officers, police said. Mixon tried to hide in his sister's apartment and shot three more officers, killing two, as they tried to arrest him.