OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Oakland Police Department Homicide investigators are asking for help from the public finding a car that might be connected to the killing of a KRON4 security guard.
The suspect vehicle is a 2004 – 2008 Acura TL, white, 4-door, with a sunroof and no front license plate.
The security guard died from his injuries Saturday morning after being shot in an attempted armed robbery while on assignment protecting a KRON4 crew.
The victim is Kevin Nishita. He leaves behind a wife, two children and three grandchildren. Nishita worked as an armed guard for Star Protection Agency.
Prior to working as a guard, he served as a police officer at the Oakland Housing Authority, Hayward Police, San Jose Police, and the Colma Police departments.
A reward of $32,500 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
The KRON4 crew was covering a story on Wednesday about a recent robbery where 12 thieves wearing masks and hoods raided a clothing store on the 300 block of 14th Street.
At 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, an assailant attempted to steal KRON4’s camera equipment, according to police.
The armed guard was shot in the lower abdomen. The reporter was not physically injured.
The guard was rushed to Highland Hospital Wednesday afternoon in critical condition before undergoing surgery.
A Berkeley man standing nearby was hit by bullet shrapnel, Oakland police said. He was treated at a hospital and listed in stable condition.
Donations to Kevin’s family can be made to the ‘Kevin Nishita Trust’ at Metropolitan Bank, located at 381 8th Street, Oakland 94601.
Donations can be made in person at any Metropolitan Bank location or via mail.
The account number: 116020591, routing number 121141343.
Contributions from KRON4 and its parent company Nexstar Media Inc., Star Protection Agency, and the Oakland Police Department brought the total reward offered for information up to $32,500.
The money will be given to the person who provides information that leads to an arrest of the individual, or individuals involved in the shooting.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact investigators at (510) 238-3426.
“It’s been an extremely violent week. We are asking if you were in the area, have a business or live nearby to please check your surveillance footage as you may have captured the crime before, during, or after it occurred,” Oakland police said during a press conference held on Wednesday.
Local television stations, including KRON4, regularly use security guards when covering news stories, and Kevin Nishita honorably and bravely protected Bay Area TV reporters for years.
This morning the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office escorted his body from the hospital in Oakland with full law enforcement honors.
“We are devastated by the loss of security guard and our friend, Kevin Nishita. Our deepest sympathy goes to Kevin’s wife, his children, his family, and to all his friends and colleagues. This senseless loss of life is due to yet another violent criminal act in the Bay Area. We hope that offering a reward will help lead to the arrest of those responsible so they can face justice for this terrible tragedy,” KRON4’s Vice President and General Manager Jim Rose said in a statement.
KRON4 staff members who knew and worked with Nishita are sharing their thoughts on social media.
Bay Area police departments are also remembering Kevin.
“It is with heavy hearts and sadness that we share the news of the passing of former Officer Kevin Nishita #3740. Kevin served the San José community with pride from 2001-2012. He was a crime fighter, even in retirement,” San José Police Media Relations wrote on Twitter.
“We mourn the loss of retired police officer Kevin Nishita who honorably served our Bay Area Community. He was protecting/guarding a local news crew when he was senselessly murdered. Today, we escorted his body from the hospital with full law enforcement honors,” the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Twitter.
Representative Eric Swalwell retweeted the tweet saying, “This is heartbreaking. Retired Officer Kevin Nishita was murdered while protecting a @kron4news crew from an armed robbery. Nishita served many police agencies, including CA-15’s @HaywardPD. May he Rest In Peace and his killer meet justice.”