Artist fatally shot in Oakland while painting anti-violence mural (VIDEO)

While creating a mural beneath an Oakland freeway overpass, a young artist was fatally shot Tuesday morning after an argument between the artist and another individual escalated to deadly proportions.

Police have not officially identified the artist, but friends and family say it was Antonio Ramos. By the time police responded to the shooting, which occurred about 10:30 a.m., the gunman had already fled and at this time is still at large.

“All they were doing was painting, trying to beautify a neighborhood that has seen its challenges,” said Oakland police Lt. Roland Holmgren.

The mural, titled “Self as Superhero,” was collectively designed by West Oakland middle school students and local artists, in which the students said they re-imagined themselves as superheroes helping to take on and tackle the city’s problems. The painting was one of six pieces planned by the Oakland Superheroes Mural Project, a community outreach group whose primary goal is to end violence by introducing Oakland’s at-risk youth to the arts.

“In the midst of beautifying the community with youth messages of hope and love, this horrific tragedy happens,” the group said following Ramos’ death.

[ Contra Costa Times, LA Times ]