OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — One of the three suspects charged in the killing of KRON4 security guard and former police officer Kevin Nishita is still at-large.
Laron Marques Gilbert, Hershel Hale, and Shadihia Mitchell were charged by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office this week with murder, attempted robbery, and assault with a firearm.
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong held a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce that Hale and Mitchell are in custody, while Gilbert is on the run.
“Today we need the public’s help locating the third suspect, Laron Gilbert, who is not a custody. He is responsible for this homicide as well. We consider this person to be dangerous,” the police chief told reporters.
If anyone sees Gilbert, “call 911 and we will send officers,” Armstrong said.
On Nov. 24, Nishita was on assignment guarding a KRON4 news reporter covering a crime story in Oakland on 14th Street. Someone shot Nishita in an attempt to steal the news crew’s camera equipment.
Nishita died in a hospital three days after the shooting. The reporter was not physically injured.
An Oakland police detective said Gilbert, Hale, and Mitchell are all members of a San Francisco street gang and have felony criminal records.
Armstrong declined to release which gang the men are members of because, “we try to not bring any attention to these gangs.”
Hale had one previous arrest back in 2018, KRON4 reported.
Hale was arrested in connection to the Nishita homicide on February 9 when officers found him in the San Francisco County Jail. He was already behind bars for an unrelated crime. Mitchell was found and arrested on Wednesday by U.S. Marshall officers in San Francisco.
Oakland police said Mitchell was the gunman who pulled the trigger.
The two men are currently locked in the Alameda County Jail.
Gilbert was in custody in December for an unrelated crime. But police and prosecutors did not have enough evidence then to charge him with homicide, and he was released from jail.
Chief Armstrong declined to tell reporters locations where officers believe Gilbert may be hiding now.
Nishita worked for Star Security, which sends guards to protect Bay Area television news reporters while they are out covering stories.
Nishita formerly served as a police officer for the Hayward Police Department, San Jose Police Department, and Colma Police Department.
“Obviously this has been a very difficult time. He is loved by those who knew him. Nothing brings back your loved one, but people can feel some sense of justice with these arrests,” Chief Armstrong said Thursday.
Nishita is survived by his wife, two children, and three grandchildren.
“His passion was to protect and to serve,” his wife, Gina Nishita, said as she accepted his Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s citation of courage award earlier this month.
“Kevin went above and beyond as a security guard for the Bay Area news crews. He developed true friendships with the teams of the newscasters of each network,” Gina Nishita said.
For example, we went on vacation, he bought multiple umbrellas and I asked him, ‘why did you buy so many?’ And his response was, so that when they film outside, and it was raining, that he could protect the news crews from the elements. Another time, Kevin drove two hours outside of his way to make sure that the news reporter would reach her home safely that night,” Gina Nishita said.
The Oakland police chief said community members came forward with information about the suspects and the suspects’ vehicle that was critical for cracking the case.
“My true appreciation for all of the Oakland residents who helped us solve this case. A tremendous thanks to our community for stepping up. When I asked for help, you did,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong also thanked his homicide detectives for “relentless follow up around-the-clock with information that the public brought forward.”
Mitchell is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin.