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Family Speaks Out About Samuel Nava III's 2010 Murder and Recent Arrest of Suspects

Mother and sister of Samuel Nava III, who was shot in Hayward in 2010, are relieved that the suspects of his murder case have been arrested but anxiously await a verdict.

While made in connection to the shooting murder of a young teenager in 2010 are a step toward closure for the victim's families, loved ones are far from celebrating.

The mother of Samuel Nava III said she felt a “pleasant sadness,” when she heard arrests had been made in her son’s nearly two-year-old murder case.

“I was happy because the people [suspected to be] responsible for my son’s death have been apprehended but sad because it won’t bring my son back to earth,” said Nava, who attended Monday’s hearing with relatives.

“When the verdict is read and they’re convicted, I think I might be able to continue living,” she said. “It’s just been horrific.” 

On May 3, 2010 at about 6:45 p.m., Samuel, who was 17 at the time, was shot and killed while riding in a car in Hayward. He was in the backseat of a vehicle, which was making a U-turn from northbound Mission Boulevard to southbound Mission Boulevard at the intersection of Industrial Parkway when a shooter standing on the center median opened fire, police said.

Sarita Nava said her son was a backseat passenger when the driver of the car thought he recognized someone as they were passing Stonybrook Park.

While details are hazy, Sarita Nava said there was an argument between the driver of the car Nava was in and two individuals, who authorities say are Robert Yim and Veronica Rodriguez. When Samuel Nava’s friends saw Yim pull out a gun, they drove off but Yim caught up to them on foot at a red light and fired his weapon, hitting Samuel, Sarita Nava said.

Police found Nava about a mile south of that location, and he was rushed to  in Castro Valley where he died.

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Samuel, who was born in Castro Valley but later moved to Hayward, had a bright future ahead of him, relatives said. 

“He was a wonderful young boy,” Sarita Nava said. “He had a character like no one else.”

Family members described Samuel as a compassionate, charismatic and charming young man with the ability to make anyone laugh. He was also an outgoing sports fanatic who played basketball, baseball, soccer, ran track and wrestled. 

“In his 17 years, he lived a fuller life than most adults do in their complete livelihoods,” Sarita Nava said. “He touched so many hearts, so many lives in so many ways.” 

Samuel's sister, Nicolette, was just a year older than him when his life was taken. Though he was younger, she said Samuel was very protective of her and the two would spend as much time together as possible.

“He was really big on family and loyalty. That was something that was close to him,” Nicolette Nava, now 20, said. 

The two would play sports and watch college basketball games at St. Mary’s College — the school Nicolette Nava now attends in her brother’s honor because he had intended to enroll in the private university located in Moraga. The day before his death, the two baptized their godson.

Nicolette Nava was struck hard by the loss of her brother but said she tries not to let her emotions get the best of her. 

“All we want is for whoever did this to be off the streets,” she said. “However long this whole process takes, it doesn’t even matter because at the end of the day, they’re not on the streets anymore and can’t hurt anybody else.”

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Zinn April 10, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I'll never forget driving into Taco Bell at the Fairway Park Shopping Center just a few minutes after the incident and seeing the ambulance and Sam's friends on the ground. I didn't know at the time it was my friend Sam Nava's grandson. Strangely enough my daughter was at Bernard White and heard the gunshots that killed Vernon Eddins. And Robert Yim is the alleged shooter of both individuals. How could a young man living in the most affluent country in the world with a wealth of services and support systems become such a cold blooded violent individual? What kind of family rears a child capable of such evil? There is no room in a civilized society for the cold blooded, immoral mindset Yim manifested if he in fact was the murderer..
Decoto Educated April 11, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Zinn-great question-"What kind of family rears a child capable of such evil?" As a multi-generational resident of Union City's Decoto Neighborhood, I speak from a place of Hope and Knowing as many of my peers were lost to the streets. If a child lacks guidance, structure, love, self-worth...should we be surprised if he/she commits an unspeakable crime? I was raised on the same streets as the accused and CHOSE to raise my family in Decoto...it's my home. One difference is that I had accountability at home and in the neighborhood. If I messed up and brought shame to my family while out and about, my mother knew before I got home and was waiting for me when I walked through the door. My sons are respectful young men (my two oldest were classmates/friends of Vernon's and the Accused), proud of who they are and where they come from. Growing up as an At-Risk child, I was made painfully aware that my children would be exposed to society's influences. As parents, we respond with guidance, love and discipline when our sons are faced with the challenges of growing up in a world that often ignores the warning signs. So to answer your question with a question, who is accountable for raising children when, for whatever reasons, are lacking the support system at home? I pray for the Nava and Eddins Families, may you find Peace until you are reunited with your sons. I also pray for the accussed, as justice is served may God have Mercy on you.
Sarita April 11, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Please read Facebook page "Samuel Nava, III, Hayward, Ca ~ It's Time To Speak Out"
Justice May 01, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Sin is sin, Robert is no more of a sinner then any of us, Zinn. You are just a sinner as he is and the Lord see not one sin greater than another, have you ever lied to your parents, stole a quarter that was sitting somewhere, that you thought belonged to no one, those are ALL the same, a sin. So you are no better then him. Let the Lord judge him and let the Lord take control of the situation. We are no one to judge this young man or his family, you have no idea of what he has to deal with in his life, in his head, in his heart.
Zinn May 01, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Justice, you can take your "bible ideology" and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. To weight stealing a quarter equal to cold blooded murder is delusional. Your bible propaganda is senseless and a moral joke...

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