A mural artist was fatally shot Tuesday while working on a community art piece under a freeway overpass in Oakland, police said.
Police have not identified the artist, but friends say his name is Antonio Ramos, a painter who worked on a mural project led by the Attitudinal Healing Connection.
Ramos and a group of artists with the project were working on a mural conceptualized by middle-school students in West Oakland who re-imagined themselves as superheroes to help solve issues in their communities.
Oakland police said a gunman opened fire on Ramos about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 3500 block of West Street under the Interstate 580 overpass. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. The gunman walked away before police arrived at the scene.
“In the midst of beautifying the community with youth messages of hope and love, this horrific tragedy happens,” members of the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project said Tuesday.
The group said Ramos’ death was the result of “senseless gun violence that continues to plague our communities.” The group urged the community to stand up to violence.
The 4,000-square-foot mural is the third of six art pieces by the Oakland Superheroes Mural Project, a community effort aimed at eradicating violence by educating and engaging Oakland youth through art.
Ramos joined the project in 2012 when he spotted a mural in neighborhood and asked if he could help, the group said on Facebook.
“From that day on he was working on the project every day,” the group said.
The latest mural gave him much joy, according to the group. He snapped photographs of the group's progress daily.
“He loved the messages and images envisioned by the students being spread throughout the community,” the group said.
On Tuesday, Ramos wore a smile as he drove up to the work space, carrying a speaker to play music.
“He was a bright light on the team, bringing positivity, humility and dedication to the project,” the group said.
The group plans to commemorate Ramos by continuing to work on the mural.
Ramos’ friends have created a YouCaring account to help his family pay for funeral costs.
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