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Suspect in fatal shooting of Hayward officer identified, police say

The gunman who allegedly killed a Hayward police officer in a shootout after a traffic stop Wednesday morning had no criminal record, police officials said.

Mark Anthony Estrada, 21, of Oakland didn't have criminal past, but had some gang ties, although he was not a member, said Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban. He worked at his father's company in Hayward.

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Police say they don't know why Estrada opened fire on Sgt. Scott Lunger, but Urban said the fatal shooting happened 45 seconds after the traffic stop.

"There is no why," Urban said. "It's an absolutely senseless murder."

Estrada remains hospitalized from gunshot wounds he suffered during the shooting. Urban said Estrada is being closely monitored and is in police custody.

Meanwhile, Hayward police are struggling with loss of a beloved officer, who to many exemplified what it meant to be a good cop.

"We lost a warrior today," Urban said Wednesday afternoon. "Sgt. Lunger was that it guy."

Urban described Lunger as athletic, experienced, ethical and inspirational.

"He truly represented what we do every day in this line of work," she said. "This is a dangerous job and Sgt. Lunger knew it was a dangerous job."

Lunger, 48, was a father of two daughters and a 15-year veteran of the force. Lunger was promoted to sergeant in 2009 and was a member of the department's SWAT team and gang detail. He previously worked with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

Lunger was personal friend of Hayward police Capt. Mark Koller.

"Scott loved his job. He did it eagerly," Koller said at a televised 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."

State officials expressed their sympathies in statements Wednesday and lowered flags at the state Capitol to fly at half-staff. The Police Department, the chief said, received thousands of condolences.

"It is with profound sadness that Jennifer and I offer our condolences to Sgt. Lunger's family, his friends, and his colleagues on their heartbreaking loss," said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is acting governor while Gov. Jerry Brown is out of the country. "We join all Californians in mourning his sacrifice, and honor his service to the people and communities of Hayward."

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris echoed Newsom's sentiment, stating in part:

"On behalf of the California Department of Justice, we offer our condolences to all those who served with Sgt. Lunger and our gratitude to all the men and women in law enforcement who face extraordinary risks and make tremendous sacrifices every day while serving and protecting our communities."

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Lunger was shot about 3:15 a.m. after he pulled over a vehicle near Myrtle and Lion streets for driving erratically, Koller said. It is unclear if Estrada was alone inside the vehicle, police said.

As Lunger approached the vehicle, the driver opened fire, mortally wounding Lunger. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. A second officer at the scene returned fire but the driver sped away, police said.

The gunman later abandoned his vehicle, police said. Photos of a vehicle near the shooting scene showed it riddled with bullet holes.

Police recovered ammunition from Estrada's home and a gun, the police chief said. Investigators were working to link the numerous pieces of evidence, including blood and clothing, gathered at the crime scenes.

"We are still just putting the bits and parts and pieces together," she said.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna and @VeronicaRochaLA

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