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$35K Reward To Find Men Who Shot Grad After Oakland Fender-Bender

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Aya Nakano was shot and killed in Oakland on June 12, 2013, just minutes before his 23rd birthday. (CBS/BCN)

Aya Nakano was shot and killed in Oakland on June 12, 2013, just minutes before his 23rd birthday. (CBS/BCN)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The family of a 22-year-old shot by two suspects after a traffic accident earlier this month in Oakland announced Tuesday they are offering a $35,000 reward for information leading to the capture of two suspects.

At the site where Aya Nakano, a recent University of Oregon graduate, was gunned down by two male suspects after they had rear-ended his car near Market Street and Stanford Avenue the night of June 12, his family and friends stood behind a memorial of flower bouquets and held fliers and framed pictures of their smiling relatives Tuesday afternoon.

Nakano was driving west on Stanford Avenue near Market Street when he was hit. He then pulled over in the 5800 block of Market Street where two male suspects confronted him and one shot him dead, Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said.

The suspects’ vehicle is described as a newer-model four-door silver sedan, according to Watson.

Police are reviewing surveillance video that shows Nakano driving back to his Emeryville home from the University of California at Berkeley where he had been playing basketball before the 11 p.m. collision, Watson said.

“Video has played a key component,” she said about the investigation.

Still more information is needed, Watson said, and the reward is being posted on billboards, benches, and buses throughout Oakland, and 800 fliers have been printed, Watson said.

Watson said tips have come in about the case, but investigators need more to find the perpetrators.

Additionally, Watson said investigators are trying to determine if the shooting stemmed from a simple fender-bender or if it was a ruse to get Nakano exposed.

“This is a tremendous loss to them,” Watson said about Nakano’s family.

One of Nakano’s mothers, Maria Climaco, pleaded for the public to come forward with information about who took away her son.

While clutching a framed photograph of her family, including Nakano’s pet dog, Climaco said the toughest part of losing Nakano is waiting for him to walk through the front door.

“I really miss him,” she said.

She emphasized the need to find the suspects.

“I’m begging you with all my heart to please come forward,” she said.

Nakano’s uncle, Troy Aquino, a San Mateo resident, said the hefty reward came from family, friends and even strangers with the help of an online fundraising campaign set up in the days after Nakano’s death.

He said last week Nakano’s high school, Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton, held a memorial ceremony for the 2008 graduate.

Aquino said the family is “extremely devastated” but has been buoyed by community support, which he saw firsthand at a crowded memorial service at which friends from the East Coast even flew in to attend.

Nakano was shot the night before his 23rd birthday. To honor their friend many of his University of Oregon classmates are holding a benefit party at San Francisco’s Pedro Cantina on July 13.

An entry fee for the event from 4 p.m. to midnight will go toward his family, a reward fund and his student loans, event organizer Nick Osborne said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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