SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Prosecutors have filed murder charges against a San Francisco Bay Area man accused of callously shooting a police sergeant in the head during a traffic stop earlier this week, a move that has rattled a the suburban city where the officer served and the law enforcement community throughout Northern California.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced Friday that charges were filed against Mark Anthony Estrada, 21, in the death of Hayward police Sgt. Scott Lunger, 48, of Brentwood, Calif. The father of two had been with the department for 15 years and was called an “ideal police officer” by top brass.
The complaint charges Estrada with murder of a peace officer, lying in wait and discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.
Estrada remains jailed without bail, and it’s not clear whether he has a lawyer who could comment on the charges. Estrada, who is from Oakland, has gang ties, Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban said.
Lunger was shot about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday after he stopped Estrada for swerving and driving erratically. As he radioed in the shooting, another officer shot back, striking Estrada. That officer was not injured.
Lunger died at an area hospital, where dozens of local police officers had gathered to mourn and comfort one another. Motorcycle officers escorted the vehicle carrying his body to the coroner’s bureau as memorials with flowers and notes grew at the crime scene and the police department.
Police later found Estrada’s white pickup truck with bullet holes abandoned in Oakland. Estrada admitted he was shot in the driver’s seat of his car in Hayward, but “would not answer when asked who had shot him,” according to court documents.
Police found a handgun, ammunition and blood in the truck and more ammunition and casings in his home, documents show.
“Without any warning, Sgt. Scott Lunger was callously murdered and will never return home to his family,” O’Malley said in a statement.
A public funeral for Lunger is next Thursday in Castro Valley.
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