OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Hours after news surfaced that a beloved security guard who was shot while working with a local TV news station covering a recent burglary in downtown Oakland had died, police released a surveillance photo of a suspect vehicle in the shooting.
KPIX learned early Saturday morning that the guard — Kevin Nishita — had died from his injuries. Nishita had worked protecting KPIX news crews in the past.
“It is with the deepest sadness that I let you know security guard Kevin Nishita has passed away,” said Mark Neerman, vice president of news and news director at KPIX. “He died protecting one of our own, a colleague reporting on the very violence that took his life. I know you join me in sending condolences to his family and in sending thanks to Kevin for standing up for us all.”
Nishita was working as a security guard for a KRON television news crew at the time reporting on a recent smash-and-grab robbery at the clothing store Prime 356 that happened Monday night.
Homicide investigators with the Oakland police department released a surveillance photo of a vehicle they believe was used in the attempted robbery that Nishita was fatally shot during.
Police said the suspect vehicle is a white 4-door 2004 – 2008 Acura TL with a sunroof and no front license plate.
He was a former police officer who worked for the Star Protection Agency California, based in Oakland and is survived by his wife, two children, and three grandchildren.
Nishita was a San José police officer from 2001-2012. During his time there, he worked as a gang investigations detective as well as working the gaming/vice unit.
“We are heartbroken and mourning the passing of retired Colma Police Department Sergeant Kevin Nishita. Kevin was part of our San José Police family for eleven years wearing the San José Police patch with great pride,” said San José Police Chief Anthony Mata. “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 José a better place for everyone.”
A press release issued by the security company noted that Nishita had also worked as a police officer with the Oakland Housing Authority as well as the police departments of San Jose, Hayward and Colma.
“He gained the respect and admiration of his peers and the communities in which he served,” the release read.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office also paid tribute to Nishita on social media.
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. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ZbKRn7J732
— Alameda County Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) November 27, 2021
The Colma police department Twitter account also posted a tribute.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of retired Sergeant Kevin Nishita. On 11/24/21, Kevin was shot while providing security as an armed guard in Oakland. He was rushed to a local hospital for medical attention and succumbed to his injuries this morning. pic.twitter.com/ut1jKx4tyi
— Colma Police Department (@ColmaPD) November 27, 2021
KPIX spoke with two eyewitnesses who saw the Wednesday shooting who did not want to appear on camera.
They said an armed robbery crew pulled up on the television crew and ordered the news crew and their guard to get on the ground. According to witnesses, moments later, shots were fired and the guard was hit.
Authorities said the guard was hit in the stomach by the bullet. No other injuries were reported before the shooters fled the scene.
The Oakland police department provided a video update via social media Wednesday afternoon, noting that they had shared the information regarding the incident to local media “to ensure they are aware and can take the appropriate precautions.”
Crime Stoppers of Oakland, and the Oakland police department, are offering a reward leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals involved in the fatal shooting and attempted robbery that has grown to $27,500.
The police investigation of the case is ongoing. Anyone who has information is asked to contact the Oakland police homicide section at (510) 238-3821.