Sergeant Lunger, a 15-year Hayward Police Department veteran, had stopped a vehicle at about 3:45 A.M. for erratic driving. He was walking up to the driver’s side of the vehicle when his back-up officer arrived. The back-up officer heard Sergeant Lunger make an exclamation and saw him collapse to the ground virtually simultaneously with what he believed to be a gunshot fired from the vehicle. The back-up officer fired his pistol into the driver’s side of the vehicle, which managed to flee.
Sergeant Lunger had been shot in the head. He was transported by ambulance to Eden Medical Center, where he died.
Minutes after Sergeant Lunger was pronounced dead at the hospital, officers located the suspect vehicle abandoned in Oakland: it had bullet holes in the driver’s side and contained bloodstains and other evidence. Meanwhile, a man who had walked into a local hospital for gunshot wounds to his left side admitted the incident had occurred in Hayward but was unable or unwilling to say who had shot him: suspicious hospital personnel notified the police, who arrived and took the suspect into custody.
A resident of Brentwood, Sergeant Lunger was a volunteer softball coach at Liberty High School and avid adult league baseball player. Sergeant Lunger is the first Hayward Police Department officer killed in the line of duty since 1987.