Police say a California artist was completing a public art project intended to fight violence in his community when he was murdered mid-painting Tuesday.

Antonio Ramos, 27, was part of a nonprofit artist’s collective working on installing murals under underpasses in West Oakland, a neighborhood plagued by “drugs, poverty and homicides,” according to the Oakland Tribune.

It was underneath one of these underpasses that a seemingly random encounter ended in gunshots. Via the Tribune:

Ramos, of Emeryville, reportedly had an argument with a man who was not part of the group. As their disagreement escalated, the gunman shot the muralist and ran away, police said. Ramos was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Police reportedly discovered Ramos, who had been shot multiple times, after hearing a report of gunshots in the area. The gunman is still reportedly at large.

A group of schoolchildren were reportedly supposed to join the artists in painting the murals Wednesday; the event has since been canceled.

“I’m just here just looking at it and realizing this is the last place I saw him,” a childhood friend of Ramos tells the San Fransisco Chronicle. “How do you do something positive and still get shot for it?”

Image via Facebook. Contact the author at gabrielle@gawker.com.