Vigil for slain Emeryville Artist draws crowd of mourners

Published On October 1, 2015 | By Rob Arias | Crime & Public Safety, News & Commentary

A vigil for slain Emeryville resident and muralist Antonio Ramos was held yesterday at the spot where he was shot the day prior. An estimated 100 friends, family and community supporters brought flowers, candles and personal notes to honor the life of the 27-year-old Emeryville resident and initiate the healing process.

“Art and skating was all he did.” noted a friend I spoke with who identified himself as Javier. “He lived right around the corner from where they’re building the new Emeryville Skatepark. We were going to be there everyday.” The friend also noted that he had just gotten a new job at a gallery in San Francisco.

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“Antonio was just a remarkable artist,” noted Brenda Collins, a former EUSD employee where Ramos attended school. “It’s just life in Oakland,” noted Ana Vasquez who identified herself as a neighbor of Ramos. “I don’t think this happens everywhere.”

The cruel irony was that the focus of the mural series initiated by the Oakland Youth nonprofit Attitudinal Healing Connection was is to deter violence. Mural Art Director David Burke noted that the work on the mural will be completed and dedicated to Antonio and his life. The theme of the mural, designed by Oakland middle school students, is a boy who has special powers to heal and stop violence.

Javier Rocabado, who was painting alongside Ramos, noted there was a brief argument with a passerby that quickly escalated and then the man turned around and shot Ramos. “He just walked away,” Rocabado said. “With no remorse. No nothing. He just walked away.” The shooter is still at large and no description has been issued by the OPD. Anyone with information has been asked to contact Oakland police homicide investigators at (510) 238-3821.

There’s been an outpouring of community support and the crowdfunding initiative quickly met its goal of $15,000 and has since been expanded to a $30,000 goal. The funds will go to Antonio’s family to pay for services.


Vigil for Antonio Ramos, Muralist Killed in West Oakland

By Lisa Fernandez, Stephanie Chuang and Jodi Hernandez

More than 100 people paid tribute Wednesday morning at a somber vigil for a muralist who was shot and killed while working on a community project designed to combat violence and lift spirits.

Family members of Antonio Ramos, 27, of Emeryville came to the spot where he was killed and hugged in a tight embrace, though they declined to speak publicly. Others came to say goodbye and place flowers and candles along the vibrant mural picturing colorful Victorian homes and a tree-lined street that sits directly under the Interstate 580 overpass, in a marginal part of town.

“It’s not fair,” family friend Kevin Boyd said simply, adding that Ramos was “a good kid,” and “inspiring.”

The event for Ramos was sponsored by ArtEsteem and the Attitudinal Healing Connection, where Ramos worked since 2012. He had been painting a portion of what is called the “Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project” when he was gunned down about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 3500 block of West Street. Police have not identified a motive or suspect. Project organizers seek to stop violence by inspiring them with art and education.

But according to witnesses, Ramos got into a brief, but soon-heated discussion with a man who was passing by. The man pulled out a gun and fired it once, hitting Ramos, witnesses said.

Read More on NBCBayArea.com →

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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