By Laura Dixon, Bay City News Service
Police today, Wednesday, joined friends and relatives of a 22-year-old recent college
graduate who was shot and killed in North Oakland last June to share new
information about a suspect vehicle in the case.
At a morning news conference held in the 5800 block of Market Street near the spot where Aya Nakano was gunned down, Oakland police released a surveillance photo of a silver four-door car they believe was driven by the suspects.
The shooting happened around 11 p.m. on June 12 as Nakano was driving back to his Emeryville home after playing basketball at the University of California at Berkeley campus, according to police.
Nakano was driving west on Stanford Avenue near Market Street when another car rear-ended him. He pulled over nearby on Market Street where two male suspects from the car involved in the fender-bender confronted him and one shot and killed him, according to police.
Nakano had recently graduated from the University of Oregon and was working at a logistics firm at the time of his death. About a dozen of his friends came out for the news conference, holding signs bearing Nakano's photo and the messages "Justice for Aya" and "Peace for Oakland."
Nakano's mother, Maria Climaco, announced that the reward for information
leading to the arrest and conviction of her son's killers has been increased to
Climaco said she is hopeful that the higher reward amount will prompt someone to come forward with information on the case.
"Please ask yourself if it's just and fair that people can commit such a senseless crime and not be held accountable for it," she said.
"The next victim could be you or your loved one," Climaco said.
The reward money came from fundraisers, donations from friends and family, the city of Emeryville, which contributed $10,000, and an anonymous donor who also gave $10,000.
"This $100,000 is a symbol of how much Aya was loved," his college friend Rich McNamara said.
Nakano's mother said friends and family have also raised tens of thousands of dollars to put Nakano's photo and a request for information about his killers on benches, billboards and AC Transit buses throughout Oakland.
Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said police hope the publicity about the killing will jog someone's memory or alert someone who may know the suspects or see the suspect vehicle.
"Any piece of information, whether large or small, could be that one dot that investigators need to connect to the larger picture," Watson said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Police Department's homicide division at (510) 238-3821 or Crime Stoppers of Oakland at (510) 777-8572. Tipsters can also email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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