Thousands attend funeral for fallen Hayward officer Sgt. Lunger

OAKLAND,  Calif.  (KTVU and wires)  -- Family, friends and law enforcement officers from across the Bay Area, state and nation gathered Thursday to say farewell to Sgt. Scott Lunger, who was killed in the line of duty.

Family members and fellow officers spoke at the emotional ceremony inside Oakland's Oracle Arena.

Fighting back tears, the sergeant's father, Paul Lunger, said, "You were my son and my sunshine, you brightened my days."

Lunger's daughter Saralyn Lunger called him "the bravest man I know."

"Even though the pain of missing him will never go away, my mom, my sister and my family will survive this because we were the luckiest people in the world to have him in our lives," she said.

Police Chief Diane Urban spoke at length about Lunger and his time at the department.

"Scott personified the warrior spirit in everything he did," Urban said. "He was an example of how we should live our lives everyday."

Lunger's friend and fellow Sgt. Brian Maloney offered moments of levity during the ceremony, including playing a video clip of Lunger leading a rendition of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."

Maloney also offered memories of Lunger's commitment to the job.

"I can't put into words his level of tenacity and passion for working the street," he said.

 Former Alameda County prosecutor and current U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell called Lunger "a warrior, a hero" who always presented thoroughly investigated cases to the district attorney's office that led to guilty pleas.

Swalwell told Lunger's family, "You shared Scott with us for 15 years. During that 15 years, the city of Hayward was safer."

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

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

Mark Estrada, a 21-year-old Oakland man who allegedly was the truck's driver, was arrested after the shooting and is charged with murder and the special circumstances of 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.

The California Highway Patrol said processions before and after the service were expected to cause traffic delays in parts of Alameda County.

The agency said that after the ceremony, at about 1 p.m., a procession of law enforcement officers will escort Lunger's body from the Oracle Arena to his final resting place in Brentwood, so freeway, on-ramp, and roadway closures are expected along southbound I-880, southbound I-238, eastbound Interstate Highway 580 and Vasco Road, which connects Livermore and Brentwood.

Alameda County officials said drivers were encouraged to avoid Vasco Road at that time if possible.

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