David Nguyen's grieving sister describes him as fun, cool, and someone who wanted to make a difference.
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The sister of an Alameda County Sheriff's Office recruit David Nguyen, is sharing memories of her late brother who was shot and killed while driving along 580 Tuesday night. She is hoping that by sharing their story, his legacy for helping others and the community will live on.
Through a waterfall of tears, Barbara Nguyen recalls the moments she first got the phone call from an unknown number, informing her of what happened to David.
"I got home, they just told me straight. Your brother David Nguyen has passed. I thought it was a joke. I really thought it was a joke. If you know my brother he is a survivor. He would find a way to make it," she said.
Barbara reflected on what it was like seeing him at Highland Hospital.
"I saw his body in the bag. 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."
Along with grieving, Barbara chooses to laugh and remember the good times she shared. Along with anime and travel, she remembers his fun-loving spirit.
"We were like best friends. I just smile, something thinking of him, because he's just so funny. Everybody loved my brother, you just talk to him and you can't hate him, he's a cool dude!" Barbara laughs.
As the children of Vietnamese immigrants, Barbara credits their upbringing for their strength. It inspired her to become a nurse and David, to serve eight years in the Army. He was about to graduate the Alameda County Sheriff's Office 172nd Academy.
"We came from the Bayview and wanted to service our community and we wanted to make change. He was proud to be in law enforcement. He would have made such a great sheriff."
As to the investigation into what happened on 580 that night, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office says David was killed for "no apparent reason."
Barbara harbors no hate for the perpetrator, but is asking for justice.
"I do want people to come forward. I would be grateful for it and it would help me find closure."
She hopes there will be a solution to what she calls "deep-rooted" problems for the crime in the Bay Area.
"I don't think people are born with malicious intent. I think there's a lot of time, the way people are raised. There are not a lot of resources out there to help the youth and support them," Barbara said.
As she works to make funeral arrangements for David and guide her parents through this emotional, difficult time, she carries David's life lessons with her. She hopes they'll keep his spirit and legacy alive.
"Just keep working hard. Care for people and have a genuine heart for people. Don't take life too seriously and enjoy the small things in life."
Barbara is considering getting the same sleeve tattoo her brother has as a tribute to his life.
The Alameda County Sheriff's Charitable Foundation has opened an account at the Police Credit Union to help the Nguyen family during this time.
Contributions can take place at a local Police Credit Union branch or by mail:
The Police Credit Union
Alameda County Sheriff's Charitable Foundation
In Memory of David Nguyen
2550 Irving Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Keep in mind, Barbara says there is no official online fundraising effort and encourages people not to donate to potentially fraudulent, unauthorized online campaigns.
The Alameda County Deputy Sheriff's Association announced Thursday night it's offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the killer of David V. Nguyen.