OAKLAND, Calif. A security guard has died after he was shot while he protected a San Francisco Bay Area television news crew covering a smash-and-grab theft, part of a rash of organized retail crime in the region.
“We are devastated by the loss of the 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,” KRON-TV’s vice president and general manager, Jim Rose, said in a statement issued Nov. 27.
Nishita was an armed guard for Star Protection Agency and provided security for television news crews in the region, who are often targeted by robbers for their equipment.
He was shot in the abdomen during an attempted robbery of KRON-TV’s camera equipment near downtown Oakland on Nov. 24, police said.
The news crew was covering a recent robbery where a group of thieves broke in and stole from a clothing store.
A reward of $32,500 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in Nishita’s killing.
Nishita was a police officer for the cities of Hayward, San Jose, Colma before retiring in 2018. The Alameda County Sheriff’s office said deputies escorted his body from the hospital with full law enforcement honors.
“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,” Rose said.
The region has been struck by organized retail thefts in which bands of thieves, some carrying crowbars and hammers, break into high-end stores and snatch merchandise.