Authorities stated on Monday that the 27-year-old man who was slain by California sheriff’s deputies over the weekend after he fatally shot a store owner had also torn down an LGBTQ+ Pride banner outside the company and hurled homophobic comments at the lady. The San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus informed reporters that Travis Ikeguchi opened fire on the cops when they encountered him on foot about a mile away from the business on Friday night. Ikeguchi hit numerous patrol cars with his bullets.
Ikeguchi was shot by responding deputies, who, according to Dicus, caused his death at the spot. There were no injuries to the deputies. At Mag.Pi, the shop that Laura Ann Carleton owned and managed in Cedar Glen, she was found to be unresponsive and proclaimed dead. Approximately 96 kilometers (60 miles) to the east of the core of Los Angeles is where you’ll find the mountain village nestled in the San Bernadino Mountains.
“Prior to the shooting, the suspect tore down a Pride, or rainbow, flag that was hanging in front of the store and yelled many homophobic slurs toward Carleton,” Dicus said during Monday’s media conference. “Investigators determined that prior to the shooting the suspect tore down a Pride, or rainbow, flag that was hanging in front of the store.” Officials with the sheriff’s office stated that Ikeguchi, who resided in Cedar Glen, routinely posted stuff on social media that was loaded with hatred.
It was reported to the sheriff’s department that Ikeguchi’s family had reported him missing the day before the shooting, according to the officials. According to the sheriff, other witnesses reported hearing gunshots and followed Ikeguchi as he fled out from the business after the suspect shot Carleton. According to the authorities, Ikeguchi did not have his name on the registration for the semiautomatic pistol that he used, and he did not have a license that allowed him to carry a hidden weapon.
According to Dicus, the inquiry into Carleton’s murder is still going on. As is customary following any fatal confrontation involving law enforcement, the district attorney’s office will conduct an investigation into the killing of the suspect. Carleton, who wanted to be called “Lauri,” is survived by her husband and their mixed family of nine children. Carleton preferred to be called “Lauri.” Carleton does not self-identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, according to an LGBTQ organisation based in the adjacent town of Lake Arrowhead.
The organization stated that she devoted her time to assisting others and campaigning on their behalf, and that on the night of the shooting, she was protecting the Pride flags that had been erected in front of her business. Over the course of the weekend, there was an outpouring of support on social media, with users commenting on the store’s accounts to express their astonishment and disappointment at the news. Emojis representing the rainbow flag were used by many.
In a statement released on Monday, the advocacy organization Equality California claimed that over the course of the previous year, it has observed “a sharp increase in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric being expressed by far right extremists and hate groups”; this rhetoric has led to “physical intimidation, harassment, and acts of violence,” according to the statement.
In recent years, law enforcement authorities in a number of jurisdictions have conducted investigations into the possible commission of hate crimes including the destruction of rainbow Pride flags.