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Memorial planned for slain Oakland news photographer

April 09, 2013|By Joseph Serna

The Oakland community is mourning the loss of freelance photographer Lionel “Ray” Fluker, who was gunned down at a gas station last week.

Fluker, 54, who photographed for the Oakland Tribune off and on between 1995 and 2007, was shot at a Valero gas station not far from his home Friday night about 10 p.m., the Tribune reported. A public funeral is scheduled for Saturday.

Police said he was not the intended target. The man who police believe was the intended target was also hit and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The Valero station, at Seminary Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, has been the scene of numerous shootings and killings, the Tribune reported.

“Lionel worked for the Oakland Tribune over the years, initially as an unpaid intern, simply because he loved the field of photojournalism,” photography director for Bay Area News Group Nick Lammers told the Tribune. “He later worked for [the newspaper] as a freelance photographer, and was a go-to guy that always worked hard making the best images he could.”

Friends described him to the paper as peaceful and polite, with limitless energy, a bright smile and a gift for remembering people’s name.

He covered East Bay sports on all levels, from high school to college and professional. He photographed celebrities such as Tina Turner, Halle Berry, Phyllis Diller and the members of 'N Sync.

When he wasn’t snapping photos, he worked in computer engineering. His sister, Nicole Marie, 46, from Hayward, told the Tribune her brother was “extremely intelligent," was dedicated to fitness and biked all around the city.

He is survived by his 20-year-old daughter, Dominique.

Fluker’s death is the second slaying of an Oakland journalist in recent years. In 2007, Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was shot by an employee of an organization he was investigating for suspected criminal ties.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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