A 20-year-old Oakland man was arraigned in court Tuesday on charges that he killed 27-year-old Antonio Ramos while he was painting a community mural.
Marquise R. Holloway has been charged with murder and multiple counts of robbery in connection with the Sept. 27 slaying, according to the Oakland Police Department. U.S. marshals arrested Holloway in Stockton on Nov. 20, but his name was not released until today.
Holloway admitted to police that he shot Ramos, but said it was not intentional, according to court documents.
“Holloway admitted to shooting at the victim on 29 Sept 15 but stated it was an accident,” according to court documents. “Holloway denied any involvement in the robbery.”
The slaying of Ramos, a 2006 Berkeley High graduate who also attended Berkeley City College, shocked the Bay Area as he was peacefully painting a community mural on West Street in Oakland underneath Interstate 580 when he was gunned down. There were other people working on the 4,000-square-foot mural at the time – although they were a few hundred feet away – and none of them heard a loud altercation or saw a fight. Other witnesses, however, said they saw Ramos arguing with another man. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Ramos was taking photos of the mural when Holloway walked by and eyed the camera. They may have had a fight over that, according to the paper.
Shortly after the shooting, Oakland police released a surveillance video of someone who had been seen by the mural. The person in the video is Holloway, according to NBC.
Ramos, who lived in Emeryville, had been painting a picture of a purple Victorian at the time of his death, part of a mural project organized by Attitudinal Healing Connection. The Oakland group had worked with local school children to come up with designs for six murals throughout Oakland. The murals were intended to promote peace and understanding, as well as reduce blight. It was called the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project.
Ramos learned how to draw murals when he enrolled in a 10th-grade art class taught by Eric Norberg, according to Mark Coplan, a spokesman for the Berkeley Unified School District. Norberg is an accomplished muralist, he said.
Ramos was skateboarding by a mural commissioned by the Attitudinal Healing Connection and stopped to talk to David Burke, the art director for the Superheroes Mural Project run by the group, according to KALW News.
“He rolled up on his skateboard and was really excited about what we were doing,” Burke told KALW. “He was a really talented artist and also he brought smiles to everybody’s face. He painted on anything he could get his hands on. He was a musician, he was a designer, he skated. He’s from the neighborhood, went to Berkeley High School, went to Berkeley City College. We really really miss him.”
After Ramos’ murder, numerous people came together to hold vigil – and to complete the mural. Around 200 people also donated $11,438 to an Indiegogo campaign to complete more murals around Oakland. Friends of the Ramos family have also launched a campaign on You Caring to raise funds. So far, the campaign has brought in $38, 607 of the $40,000 goal.
Holloway was also indicted on numerous robbery counts, including one he allegedly committed right before he allegedly shot Ramos, according to the indictment. He is charged with robbing camcorder and other equipment from news and video crews on two separate occasions, once on Oct. 1 and once on Oct 15, according to the indictment.
Holloway was previously found responsible for a robbery he committed while he was a juvenile, according to the court documents.
According to a tweet posted by Malaika Fraley, a reporter for the Bay Area News Group, Holloway lost his temper at the arraignment.
Marquise Holloway flipped out at arraignment screaming “F— that” and thrashing around courtroom cell.
— Malaika Fraley (@malaikafraley) November 24, 2015
A supporter of Holloway’s apparently smashed a glass case at the courtroom after the arraignment, according to Joe Vasquez of KPIX News.
This story was updated as new information became available.
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