Friends remember man killed in Oakland as dedicated musician

Thursday, August 10, 2017 07:00PM
An Oakland musician was killed when he tried to chase down a man who stole his laptop and was run over by a vehicle. Friends and fans are remembering him as a kind and gentle person with a gift for writing heartfelt music.


OAKLAND, Calif. - Police are asking the public to help after an Oakland musician was killed when he tried to chase down a man who stole his laptop and was run over by a vehicle.


Friends and fans are remembering David Deporis as a kind and gentle person and say he'd want to be remembered for spreading joy through his music.

"He was a musician," said his friend, Danielle Garber. "And he loved his music more than anything in the world."

The 40-year-old singer songwriter was killed Wednesday after being dragged by a speeding car along Oakland's Rich Street. According to witnesses, Deporis was sitting with his laptop outside a cafe when a man came up and grabbed it.


Deporis chased the suspect and apparently grabbed onto the car as it sped away.

"I heard the neighbors screaming," said Temescal resident Leslie Gravino.

According to Gravino, she heard screeching tires and came out to see Deporis gravely injured.

"I don't know if he got caught on something," she said. "But the car sped down the street and dragged him and banged into a couple cars along the way."


"Our ask is for the community to come forth," said Officer Marco Marquez. "Community being those that were witnesses to this incident as well as those that live in this area that might have surveillance video."

Deporis regularly played at various local clubs and lived in an Oakland artist's studio.

"He loved magic, so he always had a sparkle in his eye," said Deporis' friend Ian Petrich. "He was always playing music, he was always working whatever job he could to play music, and was always just helping people out having a good time."

Police have collected surveillance video from the coffee shop and neighboring businesses. It's not clear at this point what the video might show. Police have not released any specific vehicle or suspect description information at this point. Crimestoppers is offering a reward of $15,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police Department's homicide section at (510) 238-3821 or a tip line at (510) 238-7950.

A gathering will be held Thursday to remember Deporis. It will be held in Berkeley at Acton and Parker streets. Friends are asked to bring photos and copies of his music.

Click here to support the GoFundMe for David.

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