Police release new clues in shooting of college grad

Oakland police have released critical new clues in the case of a recent college grad who was murdered after a minor fender bender.
January 8, 2014 6:25:51 PM PST
Family and friends of an Oakland man shot to death in June refuse to give up the hunt for his killers. Aya Nakano was gunned down after a fender bender. Now there's new information and our first look at the vehicle police say the gunman and his accomplice used.

"I cannot stress enough how beloved Aya still is," said Maria Climaco, the victim's mother.

Climaco is leading the push to find the gunman who took the life of her son.

"Ask yourself -- is it fair for these people to continue roaming the streets looking for their next victim?" she said.

Aya was one hour away from his 23rd birthday when he was shot and killed on Market Street after a minor fender bender.

On Wednesday, Oakland police along with Aya's family and friends shared new information about a suspect vehicle at the very spot the 22-year-old was gunned down.

"We're at a stage where this portion of the investigation needs to be released so we can move on to the next stage," Oakland police spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson said.

Police released a photo of a car that they say was driven by the suspects. Though it's grainy and difficult to make out, investigators believe it may be enough to generate new leads.

"It's difficult for the make and the model, but certainly we know it's a mid-size car, four-door, silver, and it appears to be a relatively newer car," Officer Watson said.

Police aren't saying where the photo was taken, only that it's an image captured from a surveillance camera in the area.

On the night he was killed, Aya was driving west on Stanford Avenue when another car rear-ended him. When he pulled over on Market Street, police say two male suspects from that car confronted him. Police say one of those men fired the shot that killed him.

"Aya did the right thing," Officer Watson said. "He pulled his car off to the side of the road."

It's an act that may have cost him his life.

Aya's photo and a plea for information will appear on billboards, AC Transit buses, and benches throughout the city.

The reward was raised to $100,000.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Oakland police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572. Tips can be emailed to Oakland police at helpaya@oaklandnet.com.