An Oakland artist was shot and killed Tuesday morning while working on a community mural.
While painting, artist Antonio Ramos was approached by a pedestrian. After a drawn out argument, the person pulled a gun on Ramos and shot him several times before fleeing the scene.
Police responded to a distress call at 10:30am and Ramos was rushed to the hospital where he, unfortunately, passed away from his multiple gunshot wounds.
The painting he was working on, under the Interstate 580 overpass at West Street and 35th Street in Oakland, was part of a collaboration by about sixty artists and students in Oakland.
— alan wang (@AlanWangABC7) September 30, 2015
It is a second installment/follow up to a 2014 project that West Oakland Middle School students completed. The initial project had students imagine that they were heroes helping their communities. The mural is a visual representation of those community superheroes. It is called the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project.
Organizing the mural is ArtEsteem which is the art and literacy portion of the Attitudinal Healing Connection group. The goal of the group is to end violence in the community through refocusing people on art.
Ramos, 27, has been working vigilantly on this mural. It was as important to him as it was to his community. ArtEsteem acknowledges the importance of finishing the project Ramos was working so hard on. David Burke, the mural director, says that the mural will be finished. Painters will continue working on Monday with increased security. Burke told CBS:
“We are going to dedicate the rest of this project to him.”
Sean Whent, Oakland Police Chief, says that there are currently no suspects arrested. There is a $10,000 reward for anyone who has information which will lead to the arrest of the killer. Whent expressed what the entire neighbourhood feels…that what happened to Ramos is “really tragic” and “totally unacceptable”. Ramos “was someone who was trying to make a positive difference in this city and lost his life.”
His involvement in this project has touched his community. Hundreds of people showed up at the mural to pay their respects but also to show that his work was not in vain.
— Allie Rasmus KTVU (@arasmusKTVU) September 30, 2015
RIP Ramos, you were a part of something bigger than yourself and your work on that mural will allow your spirit to live on and keep inspiring your community.
George Kelly “#Oakland: 3500 block of West Street #AntonioRamos” Youtube. 01 October 2015. Web. 04 October 2015.