Tomas Melero-Smith 2

On Septemer 1, 2007 Tomas Melero-Smith was murdered by an Oakland gang member who mistook the young man as a gang rival, although 19-year-old Tomas was not in any way associated with gangs.  "Melero-Smith was shot and killed about 7 p.m. that same day on the 2100 block of 94th Avenue in East Oakland. The gunman got out of a car and chased him up a driveway after he and his friends were asked what gang they belonged to, a neighbor said. The group responded that they weren't in a gang." 1

"Melero-Smith and two friends were together early Saturday evening after his shift manning a booth for the city's bicycle program at the weekend Art & Soul festival." 1  "It took only one moment to shoot Tomas Melero-Smith. In that flash of time, a promising 19-year-old community leader's future ended, leaving behind grieving family and friends to make sense of his death." 1

The same murderer gunned down and killed another man mistaken for a rival gang member earlier the same day; Allan Orlando Mejia, 22, in East Oakland, was a Honduran immigrant who had been in the US for four years working as a landscaper and employed as a foundry worker.

As a 'life legacy' to honor Tomas, his family, friends and members of the community established the Tomas Melero-Smith Park, located at 65th and International Boulevard in East Oakland.  The public park was completed on February 7, 2008 with over 300 volunteers working together.

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