No one, including investigators, knows why, but one of the two men in the late-model four-door silver sedan shot Nakano before the car sped away. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
"We're still trying to determine the motive for this senseless killing," said Oakland police Officer Eric Milina, the lead investigator on the case.
Nakano's uncle, Troy Aquino, plastered the area with fliers offering a $5,000 reward the day after the slaying. Crime Stoppers of Oakland is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects and another $16,000 has been donated through the website gofundme.com after Aquino set up the online reward fund.
"To his moms, he was an only child whom they loved dearly ..." Aquino wrote on the fundraising website. "To his relatives, he was always a source of fun. Easy to get along with and great to have around. Sometimes the butt of the jokes or the one dishing it out."
He radiated compassion and joy of life, said Kevin McCarthy, who met Nakano at Sacred Heart Preparatory High School in Atherton in 2004. "He taught me that there's no better person in the world than who you are in your heart and who you are when no one is looking."
Nakano earned a degree in sociology from the University of Oregon last year and had worked with his mother's partner, Jean Aquino, at a worldwide logistics company.
At the memorial service Tuesday, she recalled one of their last conversations.
"I'm happy Jean, I'm happy. Are you happy?" Nakano asked her. "I'm blessed," he replied to himself. "I'm blessed."
"You guys made him happy," Jean Aquino told mourners, choking back her own tears. "Family made him happy."
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Oakland Police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572. To donate to the reward fund, go to http://www.gofundme.com/39z06g.