Thousands remember slain officer


By Louis Laventure ,
Campus and Sports Editor

Normally the word “warrior” is common at Oracle Arena in Oakland, the home of the Golden State Warriors.

Last Thursday however, nearly 10,000 people including family members, friends and colleagues of slain Hayward police officer Sergeant Scott Lunger mentioned the word repeatedly to describe the type of man he was and not the team. “Warrior,” Lunger’s partner officer Justin Green said during the ceremony. “That is exactly what he was, a warrior.”

Lunger was shot on July 22 and later died at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley from gunshot wounds he sustained after he pulled over 21-year-old Mark Estrada in a pickup truck at 3:14 a.m. near Lion and Myrtle streets in Hayward. Estrada is being held in the infirmary at Santa Rita County Jail in Dublin and his next court date is scheduled for Aug. 25 at 9 a.m. at the Hayward Hall of Justice.

The service for Sgt. Lunger included the entire Hayward Police Department and police officers from all over the state, country and even Canada.

“Being in law enforcement is dangerous,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Andrew Ebron said. “This was a remarkable man and I just felt like I needed to be here. Law enforcement is like a brotherhood, we’re a family regardless of boundaries or borders.”

Sgt. Lunger’s father Paul Lunger gave an emotional speech during the public ceremony and was on the verge of tears during his entire address to the crowd.

“My son, my sunshine, you brightened my days,” Paul Lunger said. “You always said, ‘Dad don’t worry, when it’s your time to go you can’t do a thing about it.’” Lunger had two daughters, Saralyn and Ashton who both spoke at the services for their father. Saralyn wore one of her father’s traditional blue HPD uniform tops as she addressed attendees.

“You were a warrior and you were my dad,” Ashton said. “My dad wasn’t afraid to die, he talked to us about it often.”

The procession began at Chapel of the Chimes around 8 a.m. on July 22 and went down Mission Boulevard to Foothill Boulevard before turning on A Street where the procession entered the freeway to Oracle Arena. People lined the streets to show their support for the fallen officer.

“I am the daughter of a police officer so this hit close to home for me and my family,” Hayward resident Shelley Campanero said. “This gives a whole new meaning to the term routine traffic stop. Nothing is routine for cops.”
     There was a gathering outside of Oracle Arena following the services. Only family and friends were allowed to go to the burial in Brentwood, where he was a resident.