Plea delayed in slaying of Hayward officer

- HAYWARD, Calif.  (KTVU and wires) --  With a courtroom full of Hayward police officers looking on, a 21-year-old Oakland man delayed his plea Tuesday to charges he killed one of their fellow officers.

Wearing a red jail jumpsuit, Mark Estrada talked quietly with his newly hired attorney Robert Byers but never spoke in court or made eye contacts with relatives.

Outside the courtroom, Byers said Estrada was still recovering from the gunshot wound he suffered in the shooting that left Hayward police Sgt. Scott Lunger dead.

He also said Estrada’s family has joined the community in mourning Lunger’s death and still don’t understand the circumstances that lead to the shooting.

“Everyone who knows him, his family – it’s a complete mystery as to how he is in the position he is in right now (charges with Lunger’s death),” Byers said. “He’s been in no real trouble…Up to this point, he looks like just a good kid.”

Estrada has been charged with murder with three special circumstance clauses.

The special circumstance allegations against Estrada are murdering a peace officer during the course of his duties, committing a murder while lying in wait and committing a murder by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.

   Lunger, 48, was shot near Myrtle and Lion streets in Hayward at about 3:15 a.m. on July 22nd after  he and another officer stopped a white Chevrolet Silverado truck that police said was swerving and almost struck parked cars.

   Capt. Mark Koller said Lunger was shot without warning as he approached the driver's side of the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley a short time later.

   The other officer fired multiple rounds at Estrada and his truck but Estrada managed to drive away, Hayward police Officer Robert Purnell wrote in a probable cause statement.

   Estrada abandoned his truck at 98th and Edes avenues in East Oakland and walked into San Leandro Hospital to be treated for his gunshot wounds, Purnell said.

   Authorities contacted Estrada at San Leandro Hospital but eventually moved him to Highland Hospital in Oakland to be treated for a gunshot wound to his left lower flank above his waist.

   Estrada was released from Highland and was booked  into the Santa Rita Jail on the murder charge.


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