Slain security guard's widow reflects year after killing in Oakland

The widow of a security guard who was shot and killed in downtown Oakland a year ago while protecting a TV reporter said Wednesday that she mourns his loss but is thankful for the support she's received.

"It's an emptiness that we have," said Virginia Nishita. 

Her husband, Kevin Nishita, was shot the day before Thanksgiving last year while guarding a reporter covering a break-in.

"It's been a year. It's been a hard year," she said. "We're supposed to be living the retired life. And right now, it's just me."

Nishita left behind his wife, children and grandchildren whom he doted on.

Oakland police say Shadihia Mitchell was the gunman. He's in custody, as is Hershel Hale. But the alleged getaway driver, Laron Gilbert, is still at large. There is a $40,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Nishita had served as a police officer with the Oakland Housing Authority, Hayward and San Jose police departments before retiring as a Colma police sergeant in 2018.

SEE ALSO: 3 suspects charged with murder in shooting death of security guard Kevin Nishita

Virginia Nishita first met her future husband on a blind date in 2002 that was set up by her hairdresser.

"He walked in and I just thought, 'Hmm, OK let's see what his personality is,' and we hit it off from the first day we met," she said. They married two years later.

And it was Nishita's playful personality that endeared him to everyone he met. He didn't care what people said or thought.

As a police officer's wife, she says she wasn't concerned about his safety because he was street-smart. 

"I didn't really worry about him - and I knew he was going to come home," she said.

He served - and survived - tours as a police officer, only to lose his life after retiring from law enforcement.

"I should have been more on him, to tell him, 'Hey, you know, don't do this job no more. I should have. But I didn't," she said. "I know his passion."

 Colma police Cmdr. Sherwin Lum said it comes as no surprise that Nishita died protecting others

"The sacrifice he made was for the greater good of people, and he should be remembered for that," Lum said. "Kevin is definitely going to help us remember that we should be thankful this holiday season."

Virginia Nishita says she's grateful for the outpouring of support. 

"I thank everybody for their donations, their love, their support. I feel it, and I want to thank everybody, my family and I," she said, her voice breaking.