http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/03/MN28RC9FK2.DTL&feed=rss.news Chauncey Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post and a former reporter for the Oakland Tribune, was slain by a masked gunman on a downtown Oakland street Thursday, police said. Bailey, 57, was shot shortly before 7:30 a.m. on 14th Street near Alice Street while walking to work, police said. Paramedics were unable to revive Bailey, an outspoken advocate for the black community and an unabashed critic of corruption. "With these types of things, we look at all possible motives - financial, family, work-related," said Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan. "We believe he was targeted." Police spokesman Officer Roland Holmgren described the crime as "madness." Witnesses told police a lone, masked gunman dressed in dark clothing approached Bailey, shot him once in the back and once in the head and ran away. One news account said the assailant got into a van that drove away, but Jordan said police have not been able to confirm that a van was used or that anyone else participated in the killing. The spot where Bailey was killed is across the street from a preschool, across a parking lot from a post office and around the corner from a community arts center. No one at Starlight Child Development Center saw anything, although a couple of teachers heard gunshots, said the school's director, John Wong. Bailey, who lived in Oakland and has a teenage son, was known for his assertive style of questioning city officials, Holmgren said. "He was very controversial," said Derrick Nesbitt, who worked with Bailey on a cable access channel called "Soul Beat" from 1997 to 2004. "He was tenacious and would not let people off the hook, whether he was reporting on corruption in city government, the entertainment business or among rappers. He ruffled a lot of feathers because of it." Most of his spats were intellectual, Nesbitt said. He said he asked Bailey several years ago if he had ever feared for his safety because of his probing into corruption or gang violence. Bailey said he had received threats but had shrugged them off. Bailey was fired from the Tribune in 2005 for ethics violations, according to several former colleagues. He went on to work for the Post as a freelance foreign correspondent, covering stories in Vietnam and Haiti, and was named editor of the publication in June. Bailey had recently written stories about foreclosure rates disproportionately affecting African Americans and Latinos. Joseph Debro, a biochemical engineer who also wrote stories for the Post, said Bailey had also been working on a story about a bankruptcy filing by Your Black Muslim Bakery, a series of stores on San Pablo Avenue. "We're grief-stricken," said Post Publisher Paul Cobb. "We've lost a family member." " Why is the missing link," said Gene Hazzard, a photographer and contributing writer at the Post. Relatives were at a similar loss. "Whatever happened is too much for us," said the mother of Bailey's 13-year-old son, who asked not to be identified out of concern for her son's safety. "We're in shock. Chauncey was involved in big things in Oakland, but ... he kept both his lives separate. What he was to us was a dad." The Post, a weekly with a circulation of 49,500, is geared toward the African American community and is distributed in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and San Francisco. Gwendolyn Carter, the paper's advertising manager, said news of Bailey's killing reached the office a little before 9 a.m. She said the staff of about 10 people was in shock. "He was a good man," Carter said. "He always took care of me. He would say I was his little sister and he was my big brother." Members of the Post staff, including Cobb, as well as local NAACP representatives gathered at the scene of Thursday's shooting, expressing disbelief at Bailey's death and consoling one another. "I'm shocked, as all of us are in the city. This is a daylight shooting; it's frightening," said Chris Jackson, executive director of the NAACP's Oakland chapter. John Bowens, the paper's director of advertising, said he and others had no idea what the motive could be. "He talked to me about what he could do to make Oakland better for people, about how the city could improve," Bowens said. "He spoke his mind." Mayor Ron Dellums said in a prepared statement, "Chauncey will be missed. He was at every media event, and he always asked the first question. His questions were thoughtful, and you knew that he sought to truly inform the public." City Councilman Larry Reid called Bailey's killing "a loss to the entire African American community." "Chauncey is someone who was very well respected, even though he and I sometimes disagreed," Reid said. "It's just really sad. Somehow we as a city, we as human beings have to get a handle on all these guns on the streets and these crazy people who have no sense of the value of a human life." In a statement, Tribune Managing Editor Martin Reynolds called Bailey "a friend, a valued colleague and a loving father." "His death has left all of us at the Oakland Tribune shocked and deeply saddened," Reynolds said. "Chauncey's coverage of Oakland's African American community was a tremendous asset to the Tribune. ... We will miss Chauncey and send our sincerest condolences to his friends and family. We now look to the authorities to bring his killer to justice." Police ask that anyone with information about the killing call investigators at (510) 238-3821. Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of a suspect.