OAKLAND, Calif. - Top Alameda County sheriff's officials saluted somberly Friday as the flag-draped casket of a recruit who was shot and killed on an Oakland freeway was taken from the coroner's office.
"It’s very tragic event," said Sheriff Greg Ahern. "We're here to pay respects to one of our best young recruits."
David Nguyen was driving home to San Francisco from the sheriff's academy in Dublin on Jan. 4 when someone opened fire on his personal vehicle, a Toyota Prius. He was on a MacArthur Maze approach to the Bay Bridge in Oakland when he was shot.
"We want to make sure that he’s not forgotten," Ahern said. "We want to make sure that we try our best to represent what he was going to be."
Ahern, the recruit's sister Barbara Nguyen and his girlfriend Shanice Vaughn followed the casket as it was placed into a hearse. A small motorcade escorted his body to a Colma mortuary.
"It’s just very sad that he never got to experience his real dream of joining law enforcement," Ahern said. "He's going to be remembered as a dedicated, hard- working young man."
Nguyen and his parents immigrated from Vietnam to the United States when he was 2 years old. He was also part of the California National Guard and wanted to serve in law enforcement in part to represent underserved communities.
The CHP is investigating but haven't made any arrests.
"They’re working on a couple of leads. They have some ideas that they need to develop," Ahern said.
Nguyen's killing has hit his academy classmates hard. Members of the 172nd Academy have been "impacted by this before their careers have even started," said sheriff's Lt. Ray Kelly. "They’ve already dealt with loss and tragedy, so our prayers are with them as well."