Family, friends remember slain Oakland musician a year after death

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It’s been one year since musician David DePoris was killed in Oakland and his family and friends aren’t giving up hope in solving the homicide case.

The 40-year-old was described as a prophetic artist who told stories through his music. His friend, Rob Alan Martin of Sol Gate Studios, said he still feels David around.

“He left a great deal of inspiration and story,” Martin said. “He’s still everywhere. I still talk to him.”

David had moved from New York to Oakland where he was creating his latest music and working on releasing an album. On Aug. 8, 2017, David was killed in Oakland’s Temescal District. He was outside of a café when his laptop was stolen and he was dragged by the robber’s getaway car. David died from his injuries.

Gene DePoris, David’s father, said time does not heal, but it dulls the pain.

“His murderers are still out there and there are no leads,” DePoris said. “I just hope the person who did this, wakes up one day and looks in the mirror and says, 'On August, 9, 2017, I did something unbelievably terrible and I want to do something to make my life different to make up for it.'”

A person of interest in the case was identified as an African American man, between 25-30 years old, height of 6’0”, and approximately 200 pounds. A red, Audi 4-door SUV is believed to be associated with the crime. Police are asking for help in identifying the man and car. 

“This is a random crime and not unlike so many things that have happened in Oakland and surrounding areas where someone comes along, steals a laptop, and something bad happens,” DePoris said.

He is urging someone with information to come forward.

“There is no statute of limitations on recognizing somebody,” DePoris said. “With a little bit of luck, these people will be taken off the streets.”

Martin said what happened to David shouldn’t happen to anybody. He said David loved Oakland and Oakland lost Dave.

“We lost an amazing artist,” Martin said. “He believed in people so I don’t even think he’d want someone to be prosecuted, but it would be amazing for the world to realize what Oakland lost.”

A $15,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oakland Police Department Homicide Section at 510-238-3821 or the anonymous tip line at 510-238-7950.