HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- Hayward police Sergeant Scott Lunger was shot and killed Wednesday morning during a traffic stop and the community is coming together to remember a hero.
Lunger leaves behind two teenage daughters and an entire community is mourning the loss and that's evident by the growing tribute at Hayward police headquarters and by the large turnout at a candlelight vigil.
Candles were lit to celebrate the life of Lunger who was shot and killed while serving his community. People lined-up to hug officers at a vigil organized by the Day Labor Center, which has worked closely with police.
"Behind the gun and the badge they're human, they talk to you, and he's actually a very nice man, a very kind man," said Gabriel Hernandez at the Day Labor Center.
People from Hayward and beyond began laying flowers early in the morning.
"My wife told me that a police officer was shot and killed and it kind of hit the heart," Hayward resident Joel Nelson said.
Lunger served as a deputy with Contra Costa County for two years before joining Hayward in 2001. People remember him on duty.
"It was just wonderful. He was a sweet guy. He cared very much about the motorcyclist that fell down and he took care of him and he really just tried to do the very best," said Lt. Kyna Kelley of the Salvation Army.
The 48-year-old officer wore other uniforms; he played baseball for the Tri-Valley A's and he coached at Freedom High School in Oakley.
Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban calls him an inspiration.
"We have really suffered a tremendous loss today and the world is a little bit worse for him being gone," Urban said.
"I wish Diane was here cause I just want to hold her and say I'm sorry, you know," Hernandez said. Sorry for the light extinguished too soon.
But a ray of hope came from a seven-year-old, eager to shake the hand of an officer.
"I know he wants to be a police officer when he gets older," said Hayward resident Lorrain Ramirez, mother of the seven-year-old who said he wanted to be an officer because they're brave.
Hayward police say they will be working with the sergeant's family regarding donations. Those with questions can contact the Hayward Police Officers Association at 510-293-5010.
Click here for full coverage on the Hayward police shooting.