Artist Shot, Killed While Working on West Oakland Community Mural

Antonio Ramos working on the West Street Mural in Oakland

Antonio Ramos working on the West Street Mural in Oakland (Courtesy: Attitudinal Healing Connection of Oakland)

Updated: Sept. 30, 2015, 12:33pm

Emeryville artist Antonio Ramos, 27, was shot and killed Tuesday morning while working on a community mural under the 580 freeway in West Oakland, according to sources close to the victim.

Police responded to reports of gunshots near the underpass on West St. around 10:30am and found Ramos suffering from a gunshot wound.

Antonio Ramos (Photo: Facebook)
Antonio Ramos (Courtesy: Facebook)

The artist was working with a group of other muralists when he reportedly had an exchange of words with an unidentified man. At some point, the man shot Ramos and walked away. Ramos was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead, according to Oakland police. As of Tuesday afternoon, police were still seeking information on the shooter.

Ramos was painting a mural sponsored by the Attitudinal Healing Connection of Oakland (AHC), a nonprofit dedicated to building healthy communities by breaking cycles of violence through arts, creativity and education. Through their Oakland Superheroes Mural Project, AHC pairs professional muralists with local middle school students to design and execute murals inspired by envisioning the students as superheroes.

Sketch for a portion of the West St. mural. (Photo: AHC)
Sketch for a portion of the West St. mural. (Courtesy: Attitudinal Healing Connection of Oakland)

According to AHC Executive Director Amana Harris, Ramos was “a really good kid who loved art” and was a victim of the violence he sought to end through his work.

Fellow muralist Frederick Alvarado, who worked with Ramos on the first Oakland Superheroes Mural Project, remembers him as a “good fellow” who loved skateboarding and crabbing at night.

An impromptu memorial at the shooting site.
An impromptu memorial at the shooting site. (Courtesy: Facebook)

Work on the mural is just one week underway. The design, spread across 4,000 sq. feet of underpass wall, depicts children as gigantic figures overseeing and caring for their community. Students from West Oakland Middle School planned to help paint the mural along with professional muralists at an event scheduled for Wednesday, according to project organizers.

“We will be dedicating this wall to Antonio Ramos,” Harris said. “And we will not stop. We will not be intimidated to bring light and love and hope into our communities.”

Friends have created a crowdfunding campaign to help the Ramos family with funeral costs.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

The Bay City News contributed to this report.

Artist Shot, Killed While Working on West Oakland Community Mural 9 June,2016Sarah Hotchkiss

  • eae

    Tragic. I really hope we can get past senseless violence like this at some point in my lifetime.

  • Kate Rhoades

    Friends of Antonio have started a fundraiser to help pay funeral costs:

    • look up free body disposal, a more meaningful way – it gets used and doesn’t cost anything. They pick it up and take it where it’s needed. They’ll give you an urn of the ashes done after use. Putting it in the ground is one thing, but putting it in in an expensive box, taking hugely longer to decay and become useful to earth is insulting to you. Stand against the distortion. Have ceremonies but leave the body disposal where it belongs, related.

      • Kate Rhoades

        It’s not really up to me, but thanks for the info.

        • right – Somehow people are being conditioned to seek ways to spend money to deal with the barely describable anguish of this and many kinds of deaths – is what makes me comment to this fundraiser.
          Then the TV camera goes around waiting for everyone to find ‘closure’ and ‘heal’ – a truly nutty requirement in the face of what is actually endless pain and sorrow….

          • flavorflave


          • You are kind and gracious and we all dearly love you. Thank you.

      • Damiana

        Criminy. The kid died less than 12 hrs ago! If you want to pass on that info, fine,but can the proselytizing.

        • I work against the insistent, continued teaching audiences of hundreds – in this case millions – to seek comfort by doing an American (COST!!ly) funeral.
          ‘Kid’ helps to depersonalize someone. He was a person – this person died…
          As to proselytizing, the imposing of a series of processes such as burial and its attendant costs is the proselytizing that needs to be halted.

          • Damiana

            Blah blah blah. Yes, proselytizing. You’re also judgemental and insensitive.

          • So now you fully understand that insisting on, urging, making seem mandatory, expensive funerals is a function of the imperium in which we live. You (who-all) are stupidified in order to fill the one role the profiteers permit of us, require of us, the only role for us proletariat, work their machines, their research, their computers, their sales stores, their limited infrastructure maintenance, their schools to turn out robotic simulacra to do these jobs, to maintain our Owners’ control, profiteering off our labor and THeir theft of our land. Good. That wasn’t so difficult, now was it?
            I also hate – hate this system, what it does to us all. I hope you do too. Or you will in 50 years, when you finally ‘get’ it, that you’ve lived a boring tired existence, been worn to the bone doing not what pleasures you and our communities, but what serves our Owners.

          • Elissa

            Norma, this probably isn’t the place to discuss your stance on funerals vs. natural burials. Not saying you’re wrong or right… just barking up the wrong tree, wrong time/place.

          • I wasn’t discussing my stance on funerals. I was discussing (why do people have so much trouble understanding the discussion ?!) I was discussing people like rats being run through a maze with certain stops required – the ‘buy’ stops being essential to our Owners. Money for a funeral is a disconnected thought about the terribly sad thing. Much else needs to be thought of in response.

          • flavorflave

            Go kill yourself and try it.

          • It is so sorry to see this kind of disconnected response – meaningless relative to – well, anything. But then, having to go through school, people become altogether disconnected from language – it’s meaningless to so many people. They don’t understand what they hear, what they read, even what they ‘think’ish. Much crazy confusion runs through minds like this – I understand – and mourn. This kind of thinking is just the thinking that the killer did when he pulled the trigger – disorganized not-thinking – not understanding what’s going through your head….

          • Silvia Villagomez

            I cant help but to wonder if the person who killed Ramos is the same person who killed my sweet Nephew Alex Elizares about three weeks ago in Oakland off of Bancroft st. My heart/Condulences goes out to the Ramos Family. God bless you~+~

          • flavorflave

            Fuck you!

      • 69GeorgeWBush69

        You are some piece of work.

  • …good thing this has nothing to do with being sure gun stores make their profits – being sure there’re plenty of guns around no matter who gets a’hold of them; being sure men who need to extend their part have plenty of guns – that can get stolen and used this way.
    People, -men – denied satisfactory participation in society are badly affected by their exclusion from successful living. Having a gun makes up for that a bit. Fortunately for these people who’ve often had frequent bad behavior records, guns are so available to fill the gaps.
    Crime like this just about disappeared/disappears in communist socialist countries. Guess why – 1. no homelessness.
    2. food, shelter, and community
    3. a place to be

    • Pat Houghton

      Norma, please take your ideas to another site. We are all now suffering a loss of a good human.

    • Elissa

      Really? Again, not the time/place to be on your soapbox.

    • Matt

      You are an idiot. Take your drama elsewhere. It is people like you that give the Bay Area a bad name. Stop with the politicizing.

  • nancyface


    • Matt

      Because Oakland, that’s why.

      • no – it’s capitalism – we work – slave at jobs that enrich our Owners. Everyone gets very poor and very angry – encrazed – like this – – Communist places reduced and ended street crime – then came U.S. toppling of victories – so back to same-ol’

        • Matt

          Based on this comment and your others you’ve posted, you’re obviously insane.

  • myAnon

    why and who would want to kill this man. was he a gang member?

  • Ben

    Is anyone aware of ways to help the community finish the mural?

  • Matt

    Very sad that this man has to die. I hope they find the waste of life that did this and bring him to justice. The killer is obviously a sick person and is a threat to society. I hope his capture can bring some closure to the family. Rest in peace Antonio Ramos.

  • justanaverageguy

    It is pathetic that an individual trying to do good is shot. Our country is being turned into a nation of third world violence with poverty of the masses is a major factor, while the NYC banker elites and pro-sports and entertainment community can’t keep score of how much money they have..

    Why is there no description of the perp, if only to help the public ID the shooter? Or have such crimes become so commonplace in the minority community that description is only considered relevant information when the perp is a white male and the news media can then spend a month hyping an agenda of gun control and racism? Every day in America there are minority on minority killings, or of others, that number in the hundreds. The mugshots of the perps mostly look the same where whites and Asians are underrepresented and rarely involved. Until candid diagnosis is done a cure will never be implemented. The media should inform instead of covering up.

    • Matt

      Wow. Way to race bait asshole. Did the thought that maybe they do not yet have a description, by any chance, make into that hateful little head of yours? This is not a matter of race. This is nothing more than a sick, hateful individual murdered someone in cold blood over an argument. The perp will be found. It takes time to do these things.

      Once this guy is found, I’m sure you will be nowhere to be found since you will more than likely have nothing to complain about. Please take your political agenda elsewhere. Thank you.

    • justanaverageguy

      Much of what occurs in society is a function of race , ethnicity and tribe, etc from access to good jobs, to admittance to the Ivy League, to mentoring for success, and also victims of crime. Discussing race is not about race baiting, but about discussing reality. Every factor about the perp needs identified.

    • sad about all the disconnected rage – most requiring great imagination in order to maybe understand the commuique…

  • AntiqueJenkum

    was the victoms blacks???? oaktown is tribal warlord jungle like Africa… I stay out that beach.. just wait until thay get more sanctuary dinkaz from Europe.. all goin LALALALALLA Mohamed Jihad!

  • Don’t advocate for the funeral industry using this terrible act as the basis for the brutally thoughtless response – collect money for the funeral.

  • Ralph Wright

    Hey screw all of you California idiots who can never agree….you should all be working in Washington…..NYC artists have $1,000 for the name and address of the shooter….

    • everyone forgot to ask you what to do! I can’t understand!!!that. So, we should all go to Washington(state?)(DC?)
      and find the person who in California killed Mr Ramos – makes sense(….)

  • Charlie McKeon Jr

    Someone died from gunshot wounds from an attack in California in 2013 about three times a day, on Great Britain about once a week, with a population about one and half times larger.


Sarah Hotchkiss

Sarah Hotchkiss is KQED Arts’ Visual Arts Editor and a San Francisco-based artist. She watches a lot of science fiction, which she reviews in a semi-regular publication called Sci-Fi Sundays. Follow her at @sahotchkiss.

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