A muralist working on a community project in West Oakland was shot and killed Tuesday morning as he was working on a "Superheroes" piece between artists and students.
Police responded to reports of gunshots in the 3500 block of West Street at about 10:30 a.m. and found the man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital but was later pronounced dead, according to Oakland police.
The victim's friends told NBC Bay Area that the slain man was a West Oakland resident, Antonio Ramos.
Ramos was working on a mural planned for West Street under the Interstate Highway 580 overpass between 35th and 36th streets. Ramos, according to witnesses, got into a brief, but soon heated discussion with a man passing by.
The man pulled out a gun and fired it once, hitting Ramos, witnesses said.
"This is devastating," said Dave Burke, a mural project art director. "We're doing these murals especially because there's violence and incidents here like this."
The mural Ramos was working on is slated to cover 4,000 square feet of wall and is part of an ongoing project between artists and Oakland students.
Organized by the community group ArtEsteem, the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project showcases artwork designed by students from various schools in the city.
Work on the third mural of six in the project got underway there on Sept. 19. 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.
ArtEsteem is raising funds to complete the remaining murals through an Indiegogo campaign at www.indiegogo.com/projects/oakland-superheroes-mural-project. As of Tuesday afternoon, the group had raised about $3,600.
Project officials declined to immediately comment further.
Oakland police have not released a description of the suspect, but are asking the public for help.
"Maybe someone saw this happen or captured an image of the suspect on their cellphone," said Johnna Watson, Oakland Police spokesperson. "We need them to contact Oakland police."
NBC Bay Area's Chuck Coppola contributed to this report.