Mural artist Antonio Ramos was murdered in broad daylight on Tuesday morning in West Oakland while working on a community art project.
Ironically, Ramos, 27, was painting a mural with a message of non-violence for the crime-ridden community when he was shot and killed.
— alan wang (@AlanWangABC7) September 30, 2015
“Everybody’s devastated,” the mural project director for Art Esteem Amanda Harris told KRON 4. Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent, who called the fatal shooting “tragic” and “totally unacceptable” said the artist was “someone who was trying to make a positive difference in this city and lost his life.”
— AHC-Oakland (@AHC_oakland) September 30, 2015
Authorities told multiple sources that Ramos was painting under the Interstate 580 underpass at West Street and 35th Street in West Oakland. The shooting took place around 10:30 a.m., after a verbal altercation broke out between him and the eventual gunman.
Ramos was shot multiple times. Police reportedly responded to the incident just after it took place and Ramos was rushed to the hospital but was later pronounced dead. Local CBS affiliate in the area KPIX 5 said some community members believe the crime may have been a robbery gone wrong.
Fellow artist and friend Brandon said Ramos was “Oakland’s best. Oakland, It’s ugly out here…they don’t even know who they killed. He was the man.”
Authorities are still searching for the shooter. The mural is reportedly part of the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project, which is a production of ArtEsteem. ArtEsteem acts as the art and literacy arm of Attitudinal Healing Connection, a West Oakland group that seeks to stop violence by inspiring people with art and education.
The San Francisco Chronicle notes that Tuesday’s shooting was the second slaying in Oakland that day in less than three hours. A body was reportedly discovered wrapped in a plastic sheet around around 8 a.m. that same morning, approximately one mile from where Ramos was killed.
Friends have created a crowdfunding campaign to help the Ramos family with funeral costs. Additionally, an IndieGoGo fund has been created by ArtEsteem to help raise money for the completion of a series of six murals in the city.