OAKLAND, CA – A 28-year-old Alameda County Sheriff’s Office recruit was fatally shot earlier in January, according to officials, while he was driving back home from the academy. Authorities have yet to make an arrest in the case and a possible motive for the fatal shooting has not been publicly shared.
Officials say that Recruit David Nguyen was inside of his personal vehicle on January 4th while driving westbound on the I-580 near the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza at approximately 4:30 p.m. when an unknown suspect shot at Nguyen’s vehicle, striking the recruit and causing him to crash his car.
California Highway Patrol spokesperson Raul Gonzalez said that they found Nguyen’s vehicle crashed against a wall, with officers then discovering Nguyen had “suffered a gunshot wound.”
First responders had rushed Nguyen to an area hospital, but unfortunately, he was later declared deceased.
In a Facebook post from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, homage was paid to the fallen recruit.
“In Loving Memory of Recruit David V. Nguyen of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office 172nd Academy,” the post said. “He was young, smart, strong, brave and everything we seek in a good law enforcement officer. Our condolences to the Nguyen Family and our 172nd Academy.”
ACSO Lieutenant Ray Kelly said that a reward of $10,000 is being offered by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Alameda County for information that leads to the arrest of Nguyen’s murderer. Additionally, ACSO spokesperson J.D. Nelson said that academy classes for January 5th were cancelled in exchange for affording recruits grief counseling services over Nguyen’s passing.
The Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Association has announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the killer of David V. Nguyen. Please contact @CHP_GoldenGate with info. pic.twitter.com/qeAzFc0x6H
— Alameda County Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) January 7, 2022
“It is definitely not business as usual today,” LT Kelly said. “It is difficult for some to work after one of their academy mates is no longer here.”
The fallen recruit had started the academy this past July and was slated to graduate in February.
The victim’s sister, Barbara, spoke with news outlet KNTV, speaking of her late brother’s resilience in making it to the academy despite the obstacles of a low-income upbringing.
“He was able to get into the academy just through resilience and through hard work, and I’m so proud of him for that. We got through the struggles of being low income, being a first-generation family…I got through it ’cause of him.”
Barbara said that when she first got the news of her brother’s killing, she was initially in disbelief – remarking how her brother has always been “a survivor” and the type to always “find a way to make it.” However, reality set in once she arrived at the hospital.
“I saw his body in the bag,” she said. “They put a flag on him. I saw a couple trickles of blood on the floor and that’s when I knew they really did try and do everything they could to try and bring him back.”
Outside of having been a sheriff’s recruit, Nguyen was also a member of the California National Guard 870th Military Police Company, reportedly having served eight years in the military.
National Guard Adjunct General Major Gen. Matthew Beevers also released a statement regarding Nguyen’s death, noting that the late sheriff’s recruit “was devoted to serving his community.”
“Our hearts and prayers are with the family of Sgt. David Nguyen, as they mourn the tragic loss of this committed soldier. Specialist Nguyen was devoted to serving his community and was well-liked by his colleagues. He will be missed deeply.”