Security guard killed at Oakland community cabin site remembered for work ethic, love of family

The security guard shot and killed at a site used to house the homeless in West Oakland is being remembered for his work ethic and love for his family and friends. 

His mother and sister said their lives are changed forever and they want justice for Barry Murphy.

The 37-year-old was killed April 7 on the job at a community cabin site in the 3400 block of Mandela Parkway. 

A source told KTVU the suspected gunman was a former resident who was denied access to the site.

Police said Murphy was sitting inside his vehicle while parked at the front entrance to the cabin community when a former resident approached him.  

A source told KTVU that person shot Murphy six times for denying him access to the property. Sources told KTVU police know the identity of the person suspected of killing Murphy. But so far, there has been no arrest.

"My son was a good man," Erika Sterling Brooks said on Tuesday.  "He worked every day.  He worked overtime. My heart just dropped and I'm still numb today." 

 Murphy's sister Dontashia Brooks said he worked hard to help his family and wanted to buy a home for them. 

MORE: Man killed in 'heinous crime' by Oakland's Lake Merritt ID'd

She said he recently confided to her his plans to go back to work for BART doing what he loved: maintaining and cleaning trains.

 "He wished he could win the lottery so that he could take care of me and my mom and we wouldn't have to worry about anything like that.  He wanted to have a family, get married," said Dontashia Brooks. 

The family said Murphy loved life, his family, and friends.

They said they will remember him fondly as a tennis shoe fanatic.

His sister recalled a recent conversation with him.

"I'm his little sister.  I don't have to worry because he has my back throughout everything," Dontashia Brooks said.

Erika Brooks said the person who killed her son has ruined her life and that of their family.

"Shame on you," she said. "You need help, whoever you are.  You took my son from me.  He was an innocent man." 

Erika Brooks said she and her son were planning to go to lunch  the day after he was killed.  It was one of their regular outings.

Barry Murphy would have turned 38 years old on Monday. 

Instead of celebrating, his family is now planning his funeral.

For information on Murphy's funeral and memorial service, email

 Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU or Twitter @AmberKTVU