TV news security guard dies after shot during attempted robbery in Oakland
OAKLAND, Calif. - A security guard protecting a Bay Area television news reporter died early Saturday morning, three days after he was shot during a robbery attempt in downtown Oakland.
Kevin Nishita worked as an armed guard for the Star Protection Agency.
On Wednesday, he was guarding a KRON-TV news reporter covering the story of a masked mob breaking into a clothing store near the intersection of 14th and Webster in Oakland.
An assailant then came up and tried to steal the camera equipment.
Nishita was shot in the abdomen, and rushed to Highland Hospital in critical condition.
A man from Berkeley who was standing near the shooting scene, was hit by shrapnel.
Nishita died just before 5 a.m. Saturday.
Police officers from across the Bay Area saluted outside Highland Hospital in Oakland as his flag-draped casket was take into an Alameda County coroner's van.
A procession of police vehicles escorted the van to the coroner's office in Oakland.
Nishita had previously worked as a police officer with the Oakland Housing Authority as well as in Hayward, San Jose and Colma. He had often guarded KTVU news crews.
Reporters, photographers, colleagues and former police co-workers praised him for his kindness and work ethic.
"I remember day one, when Kevin walked in, energetic, wanting to be a police officer," said Oakland Housing Authority Police Chief Carel Duplessis. "What a tragedy, and how senseless this is within the city of Oakland that we continue having all these crimes. It makes no sense."
Hayward Police Chief Toney Chaplin said, "Kevin always helped everyone and never expected anything in return. Kevin set the example of what it means to be a public servant."
In a statement, Collin Wong, chief operating officer of Star Protection Agency said Nishita "gained the respect and admiration of his peers and the communities in which he served."
San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said, "His contagious smile, passion to serve others and an unmatched work ethic embodied the best of all of us. As a patrol officer, gang detective and as a person, Kevin modeled bravery, kindness and dedication, helping make San Jose a better place for everyone."
Colma police Cmdr. Sherwin Lum said, "Kevin was kind, he was caring, he was compassionate."
Lum said Nishita had earned the nicknames "Turbo" and "Stitch," after the kid's character, "just for being 100 miles a minute, all the time. You always knew when Kevin was coming or going because you always heard his brisk walk in the hallways of the police station, and his keys rattling."
The Rev. Jayson Landeza, a longtime law enforcement chaplain, took part in the procession.
"We're all shaking our heads, we're all angry about this and again, anger not so much, certainly with Kevin's loss, but certainly what Oakland has become," Landeza said.
Oakland police released a photo of a white 2004-2008 Acura TL they say was linked to the killing.
A $32,500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in the shooting.
Nishita leaves behind his wife Virginia, children and grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.
A fund has been set up for Nishita's family. Deposits can be made to the "Kevin Nishita Trust" to Metropolitan Bank, 381 8th St., Oakland CA 94601 or any Metropolitan Bank branch.