A mural painter was fatally shot Tuesday while working on a community art piece focusing on anti-violence in Oakland, Calif., police reported to the Los Angeles Times.
Although police have not formally identified the artist, his friends named him as Antonio Ramos.
At the time of the shooting, Ramos was working on a 4,000-square-foot mural project conceptualized by West Oakland middle-school students who re-imagined themselves as superheroes to help solve issues in the community.
The group behind the project, Oakland Superheroes Mural Project, believes Ramos’ death was the result of senseless gun violence that continues to plague the community.
“In the midst of beautifying the community with youth messages of hope and love, this horrific tragedy happens,” members of the group said.
According to them, Ramos had been contributing to the project since 2012. The superhero mural, the third of six art pieces in the collection, brought Ramos so much joy that he took photos everyday to document its progress.
“He loved the messages and images envisioned by the students being spread throughout the community,” the group said. Members of the group plan to continue working on the mural in Ramos’ honor.
Oakland police said the gunman opened fire on Ramos around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Ramos was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police are still searching for the suspect, who fled the scene before officers arrived.