Oakland police on Monday released a photo of a man they described as a "person of interest" in the shooting death of Antonio Ramos, a muralist who was helping to beautify West Oakland with his art.
The photo, taken from a video surveillance camera, shows a slender African-American man wearing a blue Adidas sweat shirt with a white zipper and a black cap. He appears to be in his 20s and six feet tall.
Police did not elaborate on why they were seeking this particular person.
Ramos, 27, of Emeryville was killed Sept. 29 in the 3500 block of West Street under the Interstate 580 overpass while he was painting a mural picturing colorful Victorian homes and a tree-lined street.
Police have not issued a motive for the seemingly random shooting.
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.
Javier Rocabado saw some of the aftermath. Rocabado was up on scaffolding painting when his friend and colleague Antonio Ramos was shot and killed by a man walking by.
"Antonio told the guy, 'What are you doing? Why are you doing that? And the guy turned around and shot him," Rocabado said. Rocabado said he called 911 while the shooter stayed calm and didn't even run. "He just walked away," Rocabado said. "With no remorse. No nothing. He just walked away."
Ramos had been painting a portion of what is called the "Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project" when he was gunned down. Project organizers seek to stop violence by inspiring them with art and education.
Anyone with information should call the Oakland Police Department Homicide Section at (510) 238-3821 or call Crime Stoppers of Oakland at 510-777-8572. Crime Stoppers of Oakland has offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case.