The unnamed individual killed Laura Ann Carleton, 66, at her business Mag Pi clothing store after making “several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store,” the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies responded to the incident around 5pm on Friday following reports of shots being fired. The mother of nine children was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
The shooter fled the scene on foot but was later located by authorities near Torrey Road and Rause Rancho Road. The suspect, who has not been identified, was killed during “a lethal force encounter” with police.
Hollywood director Paul Feig, whose works include Bridesmaids and The Heat, posted a tribute saying that Carleton, who he called his “wonderful friend,” had been killed by a young man.
The Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ described her as a “remarkable figure”, whose “unwavering support” for the community and “dedication to creating a safe and inclusive space within her shop touched the lives of many”.
Daughter describes store owner slain over Pride flag as ‘fearless’
Ari Carleton, one of Laura Carleton’s nine children, told the New York Times her mother had always taught “love, acceptance and equality”.
She was “fearless” and had always put other people’s needs before her own, Ari Carleton told the Times.
Since Ms Carleton opened Mag.Pi two years ago, the rainbow flag hanging outside the store had been removed several times, Ari told the publication.
The store sold ethically sourced clothing and included some of Carleton’s designs, her daughter told the Times.
In February, when a winter blizzard dumped up to four feet of snow on the San Bernardino Mountains, Ms Carleton turned her store into an emergency relief center and handed out supplies to local residents with her husband Bort.
“That really sums up who she was as a person,” Ari Carleton said.
Bevan Hurley21 August 2023 17:30
When people ripped her store’s Pride flag, Laura Carleton hung up another. This time it ended with her murder
Friends say this happened multiple times in the two years since she opened the California store as a second outpost to her first location in Studio City.
And, throughout it all, the 66-year-old mother-of-nine remained defiant as a prominent ally to the LGBT+ community.
This weekend, it happened once again.
Except this time, the flag removal ended with her murder – with the perpetrator shooting her in cold blood in the street.
Bevan Hurley21 August 2023 17:00
Gavin Newsom: ‘This is absolutely horrific’
California Governor Gavin Newsom has described the killing of clothing store owner Laura Carleton as “absolutely horrific”.
The 66-year-old mother of nine was shot dead outside her Lake Arrowhead store during an argument over a Pride flag, authorities say.
In a social media post on Sunday night, Mr Newsom wrote: “This is absolutely horrific.
“A shop owner has been shot and killed by a man after he criticized the pride flag hanging outside her business.
“Lauri leaves behind her husband and 9 children. This disgusting hate has no place in CA.”
Bevan Hurley21 August 2023 16:30
Laura Carleton turned her clothing store into emergency relief centre after blizzards
Laura Carleton and husband Bort converted their Mag.Pi clothing store into an emergency relief centre after blizzards dumped up to four feet of snow in the San Bernardino Mountains in February.
Carleton, who was shot dead outside the Lake Arrowhead store during an argument over a Pride flag on Friday, was “an immovable force in her values for equality, love, and justice”, the Mountain Provisions Cooperative wrote in a Facebook post.
“Lauri and her husband Bort were pivotal in organizing our Free Store which provided free food and supplies for 4 months after the blizzard. Lauri put her whole heart into keeping it going as long as we could,” the coop wrote.
“If you knew Lauri you know she loved hard, laughed often, and nurtured and protected those she cared about. She was a force, she loved to crack jokes and wanted to live as joyful of a life as possible. We will continue to stand for the values she so selflessly stood for. Her death will not be in vain.”
Carleton was a founding member of the cooperative.
Bevan Hurley21 August 2023 16:00
‘This is our country now’
Writer Alok Vaid-Menon has paid tribute to Laura Carleton, who authorities say was shot dead during an argument about a Pride flag hanging outside her California clothing store.
“I feel deeply saddened by this,” they wrote in an Instagram post.
“This is our country now and we can’t look away. Rest in peace Laura Ann Carleton, a mother of nine. Thank you for your allyship. Thank you for your love. I’ll never forget you.”
Bevan Hurley21 August 2023 15:30
California store owner shot dead after argument about Pride flag
A California business owner and a “true ally” was shot to death by a suspect who complained about an LGBTQ flag hanging at the store.
The unnamed individual killed 66-year-old Laura Ann Carleton at her business Mag Pi clothing store after making “several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store”, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies responded to the incident around 5pm on Friday following reports of shots being fired. Carleton was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Bevan Hurley21 August 2023 15:00
Protest against killing of LGBTQ ally Laura Carleton
Diane Anderson-Minshall, author and editor-in-chief of Go Magazine, called on the “rational world” to view the “extreme right hysteria” against the LGBTQ+ community following the death of Laura Carleton, who was a cisgender ally.
“Yesterday, I read the headline, ‘shop owner killed over rainbow flag’ and shook my head. Today, I realized that it was Laura, who I knew back when she was with Calvin Klein, and it was in liberal California,” she wrote on Facebook.
“The world of LGBTQ people and our allies sometimes feels very small in that at least for me we often know each other in some capacity. Laura, like all victims, should not just be another headline we ignore.
“The fact that even presumably straight cisgender allies are killed for supporting LGBTQ people and cisgender people are being killed as they’ve been mistaken as being trans, I have to hope that the rational world begins to see this eradication campaign and extreme right hysteria for what it is before it’s too late.”
Bevan Hurley21 August 2023 14:30
Hollywood reacts to shooting of Laura Carleton
Many Hollywood stars have reacted to the deadly shooting of Laura Carleton.
Paul Feig paid tribute to his “wonderful friend” on social media after she was killed by an unnamed gunman over the weekend.
Several of his celebrity friends also reacted to her killing in the comments under his post.
Hollywood star Charlize Theron said Carleton’s death was “heartbreaking”, while The Office star Kate Flannery wrote: “Paul! I’m so sorry for your loss. And I’m sorry for the state of the world.”
“Truly heartbreaking,” wrote One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush. US actor Timothy Omundson wrote: “It is so horrific that an expression of love and support for a marginalised community, should lead to such radicalized hatred and violence every shop in Arrowhead village should hang a pride flag to honor this brave wife and mother.”
Rachel Sharp21 August 2023 14:00
Broad City star calls Laura Ann Carleton’s death ‘devastating and infuriating’
Broad City star Abbi Jacobson has called the shooting of Laura Ann Carleton “devastating and infuriating” as the community reacts to her death.
Carleton was killed after a gunman took issue with a large LGBT+ Pride flag that was hanging outside her shop, according to police.
Several members of the California community have paid tribute to Carleton and condemned her senseless killing.
Comedian Ms Jacobson commented on an Instagram post left by comedian Bridget Everet.
“This is devastating and infuriating,” wrote Ms Jacobson.
Rachel Sharp21 August 2023 13:30
Rise in anti-LGBT+ hate crime across US
There has been a steep rise in anti-LGBT+ hate crimes across the United States, according to a report released by advocacy group GLAAD and the Anti-Defamation League.
At least 145 incidents of anti-LGBT+ hate and extremism nationwide were recorded during Pride month this year alone, including the murder of a woman at a gas station in Texas by a stranger who had allegedly shouted anti-gay slurs, the report highlighted.
A Community Unitarian Universalist Church in Texas was set on fire just weeks after it was reportedly featured in an anti-LGBT+ video.
In November 2022, an Oklahoma donut shop was firebombed after the business hosted an art show featuring drag queens.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar21 August 2023 12:59