Effort underway to honor federal guard killed in Oakland

An effort is underway in Pinole to create a special memorial to honor David Patrick Underwood, the federal officer killed while on duty in Oakland in May.

The 53-year-old was a lifelong resident of Pinole.

Friends say the community wants to thank him for his service.

They say a fitting tribute would be to renovate the basketball court  at Fernandez Park in Pinole and name it after Underwood who played sports here as a teenager almost 40 years ago.

"Patrick is a solid guy, a good person, a good human being," said Troy Porter, a friend.

On May 29th, Underwood was killed in a drive-by shooting while working as a contract federal protective service officer for the Department of Homeland Security,

He was guarding the federal building in Oakland during a George Floyd protest.

"He meant something to the community here, small town. Knows everybody," said Peter Murray.

The Pinole city council member introduced a resolution last week that fast-tracked the process of the  naming of the basketball court after Underwood.

It passed unanimously.

"In all the things that are going on today, he was a good person. And you say, why him?" said Murray. 

It was here at Fernandez Park that Troy Porter met Underwood  when both played youth baseball as teenagers.

He said Underwood went out of his way to invite him to his home.

"He lived on the hill right up here. So I thought it was big for a 14-year-old guy to invite basically a stranger into his house," said Porter. 

Friends have started a gofundme to create the basketball court memorial for a man they described as a hero who lost his life protecting the community.

Underwood's name will be painted on the court which will be in blue and yellow: the colors of Pinole Valley High where Underwood was a star athlete.

"Patrick always had a smile on his face. He can smile at you with his eyes. He always made you feel comfortable," said Porter. "It's an honor for me to be part of putting this basketball court memorial together for him." 

Friends said their goal is to raise $10,000 for the renovation of the David Patrick Underwood Basketball Court.

They hope to have the new court ready for play as soon as September.