Family suspects sheriff's deputy recruit's killing was random act of senseless violence

The sister and the girlfriend of David Nguyen told KTVU he was loving, hard-working and giving.

The young sheriff's recruit was shot and killed on Tuesday when he was driving from the academy in Dublin where he was training as a recruit for the Alameda County Sheriff's Department to his home in San Francisco.

They are trying to make sense of what they describe as a senseless and random act of violence.

His loved ones said he accomplished a lot in his short life. They described him as charismatic yet selfless. He was committed to serving the Bay Area community and his country.

"As soon as he stepped into a room, you know who he was. He's very genuine, funny, caring. He was a leader," said his sister, Barbara Nguyen. She said her brother dedicated his life to public service and giving back, "He was ready to risk his life to protect others, no matter what. I have so much admiration for him."

She and Nguyen's girlfriend Shanice Vaughn said he was proud to join the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

In June, the 28-year-old shaved his head in preparation for his training as a recruit.

He had also been a member of the California National Guard since he graduated from high school.

But his dreams suddenly ended Tuesday afternoon as he was driving home to San Francisco after  attending the academy in Dublin.

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"He was supposed to be on his way home. He was on his way home and hours had gone by," Vaughn said. She went out looking for him and saw that the freeway was blocked off.

She returned home to find the CHP pulling up

"Barbara and I met David at the hospital and was met with reality of what had happened to him, which he did not deserve at all," Vaughn said she and Nguyen had planned a future together.

He had wanted many children.

"A lot of it is grief. The other part is anger. Gonna be honest. Why would anyone would do this?" said Vaughn.  

Aaron Lam is also struggling with the loss of Nguyen, a friend since they were five.

"I'm getting married. He was supposed to be my guy, the best man. He was supposed to be there for my children. I was supposed to be there for his children," Lam said, "When I think about when am I going to see him again. The answer is never." 

Nguyen and his parents immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. when he was 2.

He wanted to serve in law enforcement in part to represent underserved communities.

"We come from low income. We come from the Bayview, the Tenderloin. There's not a lot of people who come out of those communities. We were blessed," said Barbara.

For now, his loved ones are holding on to happy memories.

Vaughn shared with KTVU a video of him dancing with her grandfather at her grandparents' wedding anniversary celebration.

His sister said she doesn't know why anyone would want to harm him. "I pray that they come forward, not just for me and my family, but for the community. That's what my brother deserves."    

Nguyen's sister and girlfriend are planning a memorial service and a fundraiser.

They said they want to carry on his legacy of helping others.

Gofundme to help Nguyen's family.