Sgt. Lunger Killed at 3 AM during Routine Traffic Stop
An early morning traffic stop turned to tragedy, as an individual opened fire on Sargent Scott Lunger of the Hayward Police Department. The gunshot killed Sgt. Lunger, leaving the Police Department and larger community distraught and seeking justice.
The shooting occurred at 3:14 AM this morning. People in the neighborhood stated that they heard three gunshots. Based on information gathered during investigation the police were able to track down a white GMC pickup in Oakland. The vehicle had numerous bullet holes in its side.
Police Apprehend Potential Suspect
Hours later the police announced that they had apprehended a suspect in the case. The suspect is currently being treated for bullet wounds at a hospital in the area. The police have not released any further details as the investigation is ongoing.
Sgt. Lunger’s Career and Family
Sgt. Lunger, father of two daughters, was with the Hayward Police Department for 15 years. He was a member the department’s gang division and SWAT team. His commanding officer and personal friend, Captain Mark Knoller described Sgt. Lunger as an exemplary officer who was engaged in the community.
Murder of Police Officer Performing Duties Can Lead to a Life Sentence or Even the Death Penalty
Murdering a police officer in the performance of their duty is a “special circumstance” crime in California. The defendant can be sentenced to life in prison, or even the death penalty, if the government can prove that (1) the police officer was lawfully performing his duties (2) the defendant intended to kill the officer, and (3) the defendant knew the victim was a police officer, or that the defendant killed the officer in retaliation for performing his or her duties.
Given the facts as they are currently known it is possible that the Alameda County District Attorney’s office will pursue a charge of murder of a police officer in performance of his duties.