About a year ago, it was reported that the parents of murdered Emeryville resident Antonio Ramos had filed a claim against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after it was revealed that the gun used in his killing was stolen from an agent’s vehicle.
This initial claim was rejected by ICE on February 3rd according to CBS SF Bay Area which is a precursor to a lawsuit. Attorney Frank Pitre filed this lawsuit against the United States on behalf of Teresa and Red Lopez in San Francisco on Wednesday, August 2nd. The suit seeks unspecified damages and other restitution.
The suit states the weapon used to shoot and kill the 27-year-old Ramos was in an unsecured bag “in plain view” in a rental car and stolen in an auto burglary on September 13th, 2015. The suit also claims negligence for parking the vehicle in a “High Auto Theft Neighborhood” of SF. ICE had been previously warned by the Inspector General for having a disproportionately high percentage of lost firearms who had made recommendations to better secure them.
After the theft, the 9mm Glock apparently entered the black market and ended up in the hands of 20-year-old Oakland resident Marquise Holloway according to prosecutors. Two weeks later, the gun was used in Ramos’ death. Ramos was killed while voluntarily painting a anti-violence street mural as part of the Oakland Superheroes Mural Project series under the West Street I-580 underpass.
Holloway was alleged to be a member of the notorious West Oakland “Ghost Town” gang. Ghost Town is a neighborhood nickname for the area south of MacArthur and bordered by Chestnut to the West and Hwy 24 to the East. Holloway was charged with Ramos’ murder and arraigned back in November, 2015.
The community rallied around Ramos’ death and raised nearly $40,000 for his parents through a YouCaring campaign. The in progress mural was altered to incorporate Ramos’ likeness and the recently opened Joseph Emery skatepark has been nicknamed after him. Ramos’ also had a Day of the Dead ‘altar’ created in his honor in SF by local artist and mentor Eric Norberg.
The case has similarities to the high-profile case of Kate Steinle who was shot and killed by an undocumented Mexican national with a weapon stolen from a Bureau of Land Management ranger’s vehicle. Steinle’s family is seeking $25 million in damages and is also being represented by Pitre’s firm.
Feature Image: Pamela Palma Photography
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Excellent coverage of a tragic story.