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Hayward Police Sgt. Scott Lunger Fatally Shot During Traffic Stop, Suspect Arrested

Sgt. Scott Lunger

Sgt. Scott Lunger

A Hayward, California police officer was shot dead during a routine traffic stop early Wednesday morning, and the alleged gunman has been apprehended.

The San Jose Mercury News reports 48-year-old Sgt. Scott Lunger, a father of two daughters and a 15-year veteran of the Hayward Police Department, was one of two officers who pulled over a vehicle that was driving erratically at around 3:15 a.m. at Lion and Myrtle streets in Hayward, a city of 152,000 people located between San Jose and Oakland.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the gunman opened fire as Lunger approached the stopped vehicle, striking and mortally wounding the officer. The second officer returned fire but the suspect was able to speed away from the scene uninjured.

Lunger was rushed to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley but died of his injuries, police said. Officers from around the Bay Area gathered at the hospital and formed a procession following the van that carried his body.

The Los Angeles Times reports a suspect has been arrested in connection with the killing. The alleged gunman’s name has not yet been released.

Hayward Police Capt. Mark Koller told reporters Lunger had been promoted to sergeant in 2009 and was a member of the department’s SWAT team and gang detail.

“Scott loved his job. He did it eagerly,” Koller said at a news conference. “This is a very devastating, dark day for the community of Hayward, Hayward police and the men and women of law enforcement…we are pulling together and we will get through this.”

Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday said she was “heartbroken” after learning of Lunger’s death.

“My heart aches for the family, for all of our officers. We’re all mourning,” she told the Mercury News.

Koller said police are investigating what motivated the shooting.

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