Three men from California face murder charges in connection with the shooting death of a retired police officer who was acting as a security guard for a television news team.
Laron Marques Gilbert, Hershel Hale, and Shadihia Mitchell face charges of murder, attempted second-degree robbery, and assault with a semi-automatic handgun in connection with Kevin Nishita’s November death.
Mitchell, the alleged shooter, was also charged with felon in possession of a handgun.
“Clearly, this has been a trying time. Those who knew him adore him. Nothing can bring a loved one back, but these arrests provide a sense of justice “Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong stated Thursday during a press conference.
Hale and Mitchell are currently detained. Gilbert is still at large, authorities added, and is considered armed and dangerous.
Nishita, an employee of Star Protection Agency, was fatally shot with a semi-automatic weapon on Nov. 24 in downtown Oakland while protecting a television news team during a botched heist.
According to KPIX, the news crew was covering past smash-and-grab thefts.
The father of two was shot in the abdomen and died three days later.
According to a probable cause declaration obtained by PEOPLE, “through surveillance video, forensic evidence, and witness statements, Laron Gilbert, Hershel Hale, and Shadihia Mitchell were identified as the suspects responsible for the attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and murder of Nishita.”
Nishita worked as a police officer in Hayward, San Jose, and Colma before retiring in 2018.
“His passion was to defend and serve,” Nishita’s wife Gina stated earlier this month during the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s citation of courage ceremony, according to KRON4. “Kevin consistently went above and above his call of duty as a security guard for Bay Area news crews. He formed genuine friendships with the teams of each network’s newscasters.”
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“For instance, when we went on vacation, he purchased numerous umbrellas, and I inquired, ‘Why did you purchase so many?’ And his argument was that he could shield the television crews from the elements while they filmed outside in the rain “‘She stated. “At another point, Kevin drove two hours beyond his normal route to ensure that the news reporter made it home safely that night.”
Mitchell appeared in court on Friday but has not yet entered a plea. His next court appearance is set on April 15. His counsel was unavailable for comment.
Hale has not yet been charged.