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Man shot while feeding the homeless dies

on July 28, 2011

Oakland police said today that Paris Powell, the man who was shot early Wednesday morning while serving food to the homeless, died of his injuries in the hospital later that night.

Powell, age 29, was an Oakland resident. According to the Oakland Tribune, Powell, along with his wife and two young children, had been feeding homeless people in the area for about a year, and was known by some locals as “Brother John.”

According to the Oakland Police Department, Powell was shot at approximately 12:30 am Wednesday morning, when a car pulled up alongside the area where he had stopped his van on the 1000 block of 47th Avenue in East Oakland and someone inside began firing. His wife, whose name has not yet been released by the police, was also shot but not seriously injured. Both the Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle have reported that Powell’s 3-year-old stepdaughter was shot in the arm.

“Our homicide investigators continue to work diligently on this case and we encourage any witnesses to come forward and help us bring closure to his family,” said OPD spokesperson Officer Holly Joshi in a statement released today.


  1. […] Powell, age 29, was shot at approximately 12:30 Wednesday morning on the 1000 block of 47th Avenue, where he, along with his wife and two children, had stopped to serve food to the homeless. According to the OPD, a vehicle pulled up to them and someone inside began firing, striking Powell as well as his wife, whose name has not been released by authorities. The woman was not seriously wounded, but Powell died later that night from his injuries. […]

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