Update, Friday July 24: Alameda County prosecutors have filed first-degree murder charges against Mark Anthony Estrada, 21, the Oakland man arrested for the fatal shooting of Hayward police Sgt. Scott Lunger.
The complaint filed in Alameda County Superior Court (and embedded below) alleges three special circumstances that each could bring the death penalty if Estrada is convicted: murder of a police officer, lying in wait and drive-by murder. Estrada was due to be formally arraigned on the charges in Hayward on Friday.
In a brief narrative, the complaint says Estrada shot Lunger in the head after being stopped about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday in a residential neighborhood in central Hayward. A second officer who had just arrived to back up Lunger returned fire, hitting Estrada's truck several times and wounding him. Estrada was detained after physicians at San Leandro Hospital alerted police they were treating him for a gunshot wound.
Update, Thursday July 23: Hayward police say the Oakland man suspected of fatally shooting Sgt. Scott Lunger is expected to be released from Highland Hospital this afternoon and booked into jail.
Mark Estrada, 21, was arrested Wednesday under suspicion of shooting Lunger during a traffic stop around 3:15 a.m. that morning.
Hayward police Lt. Eric Krimm told reporters Thursday that he believed the incident erupted too quickly for Lunger to return fire. Estrada is being treated for unspecified gunshot wounds at Highland Hospital, potentially from shots fired by Lunger's partner, whose name has not been released.
Krimm said the unidentified officer has "almost seven years of service, and he's doing as well as can be expected."
"I just think we have to be good to each other," Krimm said. "When law enforcement is involved, we need compliance, and when that happens, there’s no use of force. And then there’s no divide -- there’s no divide of law enforcement against society. We as law enforcement took this job with intentions to do good things and to help people. That’s what Sgt. Lunger wanted to do, and he was a police officer who worked very hard to keep neighborhoods safe, to protect people."
A spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office said prosecutors have not officially charged Estrada, and couldn't say when charges might be filed. She said law enforcement agencies investigating the shooting have not yet brought the case to the district attorney.
Update, Thursday morning: Catching up to developments in the killing of Hayward police Sgt. Scott Lunger early Wednesday:
Police identified the suspect in the shooting as Mark Anthony Estrada, 21, of Oakland. They say Estrada shot Lunger, who had told dispatchers he was pulling over a motorist for driving erratically. Estrada was then wounded himself by a second officer on the scene.
The San Francisco Chronicle quotes a source as saying that Estrada arrived at San Leandro Hospital, accompanied by family members after the shooting, and then was transferred to the trauma unit at Oakland's Highland Hospital. It's not clear yet when Hayward police became aware Estrada had been hospitalized.
Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban said a gun and ammunition were found during a search of Estrada's residence in Oakland and were being tested to see if they were involved in the shooting. Estrada had no prior criminal record, police say.
Urban said of Lunger, who is survived by a wife and two daughters: "We lost a warrior today. Sgt. Lunger was that 'it guy' that was tactically sound, that was a role model for other officers. He was fit, experienced, smart, ethical -- he truly represented what we do every day in this line of work."
Update, 12:25 p.m. Wednesday: Police say they have found and "secured" a person of interest in Wednesday morning's fatal shooting of a Hayward police sergeant during a predawn traffic stop.
At a press conference, Capt. Mark Koller described the person as "secure" and "not a threat to the community," but did not offer details about their location or whether they'd been wounded during the confrontation.
Lunger was shot about 3:15 a.m. when he and a second officer approached a white Chevrolet Silverado truck that they had pulled over near Myrtle and Lion streets for driving erratically. Almost immediately, the second officer radioed that shots had been fired and Lunger was wounded.
Lunger was rushed to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.
Later, Oakland police discovered a white pickup truck that had been hit by gunfire near the intersection of 98th and Edes avenues. Police confirmed they believe the vehicle was the one involved in the shooting.
Lunger, a Brentwood resident, had served in Hayward for 15 years. He was the first officer to die in the line of duty in the East Bay city since 1987.
[Lunger] was married and had two daughters. He was" well respected, well liked," a member of the SWAT team and of gang unit, [Capt. Mark] Koller said.
"He was an ideal police officer who loved his job and did it eagerly," Koller said. "This is a tragedy that someone did, it's devastating ... we'll pull together and get through this.
This has been a tremendous loss to myself and to this organization."
Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday said she was "heartbroken" after learning of the sergeant's death.
"My heart aches for the family, for all of our officers. We're all mourning," she said, her voice cracking.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, again quoting Capt. Koller:
“Unfortunately, a police officer’s job is very dangerous, and as we can see today, there’s nothing routine about what our officers do.” Koller said.
“There are times where they have no idea who they’re stopping,” he said. “It could be for a traffic violation, as we’ve been led to believe today, and the tragedy happens immediately, without warning. It’s a very difficult job. Our officers know that, and we try to prepare them for these things.”
Koller said of Lunger‘s slaying, “We are working through this. We will work through this. The men and women of our organization are strong.”
Scores of police officers gathered at Eden Medical Center as word of the shooting spread, and formed an honor guard as Lunger's body was removed from the facility and driven away in a hearse.
Update, 9:35 a.m.: A "heartbroken" Hayward Police Department confirms that one of its officers, Sgt. Scott Lunger, shot during an overnight traffic stop, has died:
Original post: Police in two East Bay cities are investigating an early-morning shooting that left a Hayward police officer seriously wounded.
Hayward police say the incident took place around 3:15 a.m., when the officer tried to pull over a pickup truck driver he described as driving erratically.
Lt. Eric Krimm described the result of the shooting as "devastating," but gave no details about the condition of the wounded officer, who was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.
"No officer comes to work wanting to be involved in something like that," Krimm said. "So they're very difficult. They're difficult for those involved, their difficult for the families, they're difficult for the communities."
Krimm said a second officer was on the scene during the shooting.
Oakland police reportedly later found a white Chevrolet Silverado truck near 98th and Edes avenues that they believe was involved in the shooting. No suspects are in custody.
Hayward police said they would release more information on the incident at 10 a.m.