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California sheriff’s office recruit, set to graduate next month, dies in freeway shooting

David Nguyen was on his way home from work when someone fired into his personal vehicle on Interstate 580 in Oakland, authorities said.

A Northern California sheriff’s office recruit was killed in a freeway shooting Tuesday as he drove home from work, authorities said. 

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office identified the recruit Wednesday as David V. Nguyen, a member of the 172nd Academy class.

The recruit was on westbound Interstate 580 near the Oakland Toll Plaza to the Bay Bridge around 4:30 p.m. when someone fired a gun into his personal vehicle, causing him to crash, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.

He was the only person in the vehicle, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The recruit was taken to a hospital, where he died, the agency said.

Nguyen was set to graduate from the academy in February and start his new career in law enforcement, NBC Bay Area reported.

"He was young, smart, strong, brave and everything we seek in a good law enforcement officer," the sheriff's office said in a statement, sharing photos of Nguyen.

His heartbroken sister Barbara Nguyen told NBC Bay Area she was in disbelief when she received the news. 

“When I got the call from the deputy about my brother’s passing, I thought they were joking,” she said to the outlet. “He was able to get into the academy just through resilience and through hard work, and I’m so proud of him for that.”

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office shared video of deputies saluting the body of the young recruit in a law enforcement procession from Highland Hospital to the coroner’s bureau. Nguyen parents, sister and girlfriend joined the emotional ceremony.

“Today it hit home, they have to call his parents and tell them he isn’t coming,” Sgt. J. D. Nelson said of the Alameda County Coroner telling the recruit's family about his death, NBC Bay Area reported. “Very tough day.”

California Highway Patrol will lead the investigation. 

No arrests have been made and no description of a suspect has been shared. The motive in the shooting remains unclear.

“This appears to be another senseless act of gun violence on a Bay Area Freeway,” Lt. Ray Kelly, the public information officer for the sheriff's office, said in a statement

The killing comes after a November freeway shooting in the same area near the Bay Bridge that killed Amani Morris of Antioch. In that case, someone shot into the car she was in, killing her in front of her children and fiancé, NBC Bay Area reported at the time.