Lionel "Ray" Fluker, a former freelance photographer for the Oakland Tribune, was killed Friday night by a stray bullet intended for another target. Photographer Nick Lammers remembers Fluker. Monte Francis reports.
Lionel "Ray" Fluker's second career was his first love.
As a freelance photographer for the Oakland Tribune from 1995 to 2007, Fluker had photographed everything from celebrities to sports to breaking news.
On Friday, the 54-year-old Fluker was killed in East Oakland about 10 p.m. as he was driving home from the gym, and police believe the bullet was intended for another man.
The shooting happened at a Valero gas staion at Seminary Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, not far from where Fluker lived. Police say they believe the intended target was a 38-year-old man, who was also hit and left in critical condition at Highland Hospital.
Nick Lammers, director of photography for the Bay Area News Group, described Fluker as more than a colleauge, more than a friend. He was "family."
"He always had a spring in his step and would greet you with 'Hey baby, what’s going on?' " Lammers recounted Sunday evening. "He was always laughing, always up tempo and it’s so sad to see a life like this taken away so senselessly."
Fluker already had a career as a computer engineer when he came to the Tribune. But he had a love for photography that never went away, friends said. The only greater love was for his 20-year-old daughter, Dominique.
"He loved his daughter and talked about her daily, and was very proud," Lammers said. "And we were very proud of him, because he was such a good guy."