Community mourns death of federal officer Dave Patrick Underwood

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Dave Patrick Underwood. (Photo credit: Pinole PD)

By Mike Kinney

The local community is grieving the death of Pinole resident Dave Patrick Underwood, a 53-year-old Federal Protective Service officer who was shot and killed while on duty amid protests in Oakland on Friday.

The shooting occurred at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building at 1301 Clay St. about 9:45 p.m. Friday, amid protesting over the death of George Floyd, according to the FBI.

A white van reportedly pulled up to the building and an occupant began firing gunshots at security personnel stationed outside. Two officers who had been guarding the building amid the protests were shot. Underwood died from his injuries and the other officer is in critical condition, according to federal authorities. “No suspect has been named and it wasn’t clear if the killing was connected to the protest,” the Associated Press reported.

Underwood’s sister, Angela Jacob Underwood, confirmed her brother’s death on Facebook: “My brother, Dave Patrick Underwood, a federal officer, was murdered 5/29/20 in Oakland California, while on duty during the riots. This Violence Must Stop.”

News of Underwood’s murder stunned the local community, where Underwood grew up. He attended both Pinole Valley High and Contra Costa College. Grieving co-workers, friends and former classmates are fondly remembering him.
 
Antwon Cloird, Richmond community advocate and co-founder of community organization Soulful Softball Sunday, said Underwood had visited him at his home just last Wednesday. Cloird has known Underwood for about eight years and grew up with some of his family members. Underwood “truly loved” his family, friends and job, Cloird said. And he also loved cars.
 
“Had just got his Datsun Z car out of the garage, he had three of them,” said Cloird.
 “He was a good man, everybody in the community loved him. His family has strong ties to Richmond.”
 
Rodney Alamo Brown, also a community advocate and Soulful Softball Sunday co-founder, described Underwood as a “great guy” and “a wonderful baseball player as well.” Brown said Underwood had donated to Soulful Softball Sunday, an organization that gathers community members annually for softball, unity and resources and conducts charitable acts throughout the year.
 
On social media, an outpouring of tributes were posted to Underwood. Underwood’s “positivity, compassion, empathy and shining smile” will be missed, Tom Quinn posted to Facebook. High school friend LaTonya Simmons-Ford mourned the loss of a “good, hardworking man and a good friend.”
 

Federal officials are condemning the attacks on the officers. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli called the shooting an “act of domestic terrorism.” Acting Secretary of the DHS Chad Wolf added, “An assassin cowardly shot two federal protective contractors as they stood watch over a protest.”