A 21-year-old Oakland man was arraigned today on a murder charge and three special circumstance clauses today for the fatal shooting of Hayward police Sgt. Scott Lunger during a traffic stop on Wednesday morning. Mark Estrada, who has long hair and a beard and was dressed in a red jail uniform, didn’t say anything during his brief appearance in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward.
He is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 25 to finalize his legal representation and possibly enter a plea. About 40 Hayward police officers attended Estrada’s arraignment today, as did Estrada’s mother and sister and several other relatives. Some of Estrada’s relatives cried when Judge Scott Patton read aloud the charges against him. The special circumstance allegations against Estrada are murdering a peace officer during the course of his duties, committing a murder while lying in wait and committing a murder by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle. Lunger, 48, was shot near Myrtle and Lion streets in Hayward at about 3:15 a.m. on Wednesday after he and another officer stopped a white Chevrolet Silverado truck that police said was swerving and almost struck parked cars.
Capt. Mark Koller said Lunger, a 15-year veteran of the department who lived in Brentwood, was shot without warning as he approached the driver’s side of the vehicle. Lunger was pronounced dead at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley a short time later. The other officer fired multiple rounds at Estrada and his truck but Estrada managed to drive away, Hayward police Officer Robert Purnell wrote in a probable cause statement. Estrada abandoned his truck at 98th and Edes avenues in East Oakland and walked into San Leandro Hospital to be treated for his gunshot wounds, Purcell said.
Authorities contacted Estrada at San Leandro Hospital but eventually moved him to Highland Hospital in Oakland to be treated for a gunshot wound to his left lower flank above his waist, according to Purcell. Estrada was released from Highland late Thursday and was booked into the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he’s being held without bail, at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday. Purnell said Estrada admitted to a doctor that he was shot while he was in the driver’s seat of his vehicle near A Street in Hayward on Wednesday morning but wouldn’t say who had shot him.
Purnell said that when police searched the crime scene they found a 9 mm handgun, unexpended rounds and an associated magazine. He said that during a search of Estrada’s residence in the area of 107th Avenue and Beverly Street in East Oakland investigators found 9 mm ammunition, 9 mm casings and surveillance video which showed three people arriving at the house at 4:48 a.m. on Wednesday, one of whom was limping. Purnell said the suspect’s vehicle had bullet holes on the driver’s side consistent with the bullets that were fired by the officer who was with Lunger.
Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban said on Wednesday that Estrada doesn’t have a prior criminal record but police believe he’s associated with a gang. San Jose attorney Richard Pointer, who made a special appearance on Estrada’s behalf, said outside court that he doesn’t think Estrada has any gang affiliation at all and his lack of a criminal record “makes it all the harder for people to understand” the allegation that he fatally shot a police officer. Pointer said Estrada’s family is “shocked” about the charges against him “because he’s never been in trouble before.” Estrada’s mother, Raquel Estrada, said, “We are devastated for the officer who passed away, I’m devastated for my son but I believe in God and I believe while the investigation goes on my son will be cleared.”
She said her son is “a good boy” with a “kind heart” and had never previously had been in trouble. In announcing the charges against Estrada, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said, “This tragic event has sent shockwaves through the law enforcement community as well as the community at large. Sgt. Lunger tragically lost his life protecting and serving the people in the city of Hayward.” O’Malley said, “I wish to offer our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sgt. Lunger.” A service for Lunger tentatively is scheduled to be held at the Neighborhood Church in Castro Valley at 10 a.m. next Thursday.
Copyright © 2015 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.