SAN JOSE, Calif. - The community on Thursday honored the life of Kevin Fumito Nishita, the father and grandfather who was shot while guarding a news crew in Oakland the day before Thanksgiving and died three days later.
The noon gathering at the San Jose Civic Center was large because of just how many people Nishita touched. He was a retired police officer, who worked in San Jose, Hayward and Colma as well as for the Oakland Housing Authority.
Before it started, dozens of colleagues from departments all over the Bay Area came to show their respects.
The memorial was public, for all his family, friends, fellow police officers, fraternity brothers and the members of the media he helped protect.
The ceremony began with a Buddhist priest burning incense to show reverence and gratitude.
San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata credited Nishita with having a "huge heart" who served with compassion and dedicated service. He was patient and pushed others to do their best, Mata said.
He also joked that Nishita earned himself the nickname "Energizer Bunny" because of how much he did: From investigating crimes to visiting schools in the community.
"He always put others above self," Mata said.
Colma Police Cmdr. Sherwin Lum said his department used another popular nickname for Nishita: "Turbo."
That's because Nishitawas always walking around with a high-energy pace, as if a Code 3 emergency was taking place – even if he was doing a mundane task like making photocopies. Lum also credited Nishita for handing out the most citations for jaywalking in the department.
A large crowd came to Kevin Nishita's funeral. Dec. 9, 2021
Oakland police have still not named any suspects in his shooting death.
Their only lead that the getaway car has been described as a white 2004 to 2008 Acura sedan captured by surveillance cameras at the scene. It’s a four-door Acura TL with a sunroof and no front license plate.
Nishita's widow, Virginia, made a plea last week.
"I kindly please ask, if anyone was in the area, in the Oakland community, in the area at the time this incident happened, that they have cell phone footage, that they please to the Oakland Police Department," she said. "We're seeking to find the reasoning behind all of this."
There is a reward for information leading to an arrest, which was increased to $38,500 earlier this week.
There will likely be a large police procession like the one that escorted Nishita's body to the coroner.
A fund for Nishita’s family has already raised almost $50,000. His family says even in his death, Nishita is giving back – donating his organs and even his skin to a burn victim.
Deposits can be made to the "Kevin Nishita Trust" to Metropolitan Bank, 381 8th St., Oakland CA 94601 or any Metropolitan Bank branch.
San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata speaks at the funeral of Kevin Nishita. Dec. 9, 2021
A Buddhist priest chants at the funeral of Kevin Nishita. Dec. 9, 2021
Speakers at the funeral of slain TV news guard Kevin Nishita. Dec. 9, 2021
A Buddhist priest burns incense at the funeral of Kevin Nishita. Dec. 9, 2021
Colleagues are giving a sendoff to slain TV news security guard Kevin Nishita in San Jose. Dec. 9, 2021