Saturday, February 24, 2024

Travis Ikeguchi, 27, made anti-LGBTQ posts before shooting dead California shop owner Laura Ann Carleton over her Pride flag

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The man who shot and killed a shop owner of her Pride flag in California railed against the LGBTQ community on social media, as his posts have been revealed following his identification by police. 

One post pinned to the top of an account included the image of a Pride flag on fire. 

‘We need to STOP COMPROMISING on this LGBT dictatorship and not let them take over our lives! Stop accepting this abomination that the government is forcing us to submit to these mentally disordered tyrants,’ he wrote to accompany the picture.

Ikeguchi, 27, is accused of shooting dead Laura Ann Carleton, 66, on Friday. He was killed by police shortly after the murder that was sparked by Carleton’s display of a Pride flag at her clothing store. 

Carleton, a mother of nine and a fashion and footwear veteran beloved amongst members of the tight-knit mountain community, died ‘for the values she so selflessly stood for’, friends said in a eulogy.

Laura Ann Carleton, the owner of Mag Pi boutique in Lake Arrowhead, was killed Friday following an argument with Travis Ikeguchi – in which he made multiple disparaging remarks about a flag hung outside the 66-year-old’s shop

On the social media site GAB, Ikeguchi railed against the LGBTQ and included a picture of a burning Pride flag

On the social media site GAB, Ikeguchi railed against the LGBTQ and included a picture of a burning Pride flag

San Bernardino County Sherriff Shannon Dicus said on Monday that Ikeguchi was heard ‘yelling many homophobic slurs’ about her clothing store’s Pride flag before opening fire. 

Ikeguchi fled Carleton’s store and was later killed in ‘a lethal force encounter’ with deputies on Friday.

The department – which oversees the largest county in the US –  said the killer ‘made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton.’

Ikeguchi’s GAB – a blogging site often known for its right-wing users – page  was filled with references to religion, anti-democracy, anti-police and references to defending himself.

‘America must repent for a lot of things we allow; abortion/baby killing, sexual immortality, pornography, same-sex marriages, LGBTQP/pedophilia, freemasonry, religiosity, politics, wars, colonialism, the federal reserve,’ he wrote in a post. 

‘We allow the Federal Reserve to make a profit off of these abominations, we allow the Judicial supremacist groups to make decisions for us and we don’t notice it. There is no political solution. We must repent and accept Christ in our hearts. Share this to others, please!’

Another post from Aug. 5 referenced LGBTQ people and read:

‘Even though this f***** doesn’t like to be labeled as LGBTQP, he is still a f***** and we should allow f***** in our society anyway even if they don’t to be called these mentally ill pronouns,’ Ikeguchi wrote on a video by Amal Ekpunobi that states why he doesn’t like the label.

‘Homosexuals still at any form should be illegal,’ Ikeguchi noted. 

Ikeguchi fled Carleton's store and was later killed in 'a lethal force encounter' with deputies on Friday.

Ikeguchi fled Carleton’s store and was later killed in ‘a lethal force encounter’ with deputies on Friday.

Ikeguchi's GAB - a blogging site often known for its right-wing users - page was filled with references to religion, anti-democracy, anti-police and references to defending himself

Ikeguchi’s GAB – a blogging site often known for its right-wing users – page was filled with references to religion, anti-democracy, anti-police and references to defending himself

'We must repent and accept Christ in our hearts. Share this to others, please!' Ikeguchi wrote in one post on his GAB account

‘We must repent and accept Christ in our hearts. Share this to others, please!’ Ikeguchi wrote in one post on his GAB account 

Carleton, a mom-of-nine, owned and operated the store for more than a decade, before being killed outside of the establishment on Friday. Cops said they found her on the scene still suffering before eventually pronouncing her dead

Carleton, a mom-of-nine, owned and operated the store for more than a decade, before being killed outside of the establishment on Friday. Cops said they found her on the scene still suffering before eventually pronouncing her dead

A single bullet hole could be seen in the store’s front window, next to which mourners had taped a sign reading: ‘Thank you all for your love.’

‘On Friday, August 18, 2023, at 5pm, deputies from the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station responded to a report of a person who had been shot at the Mag Pi clothing store on Hook Creek Road,’ sheriff’s officials said.

‘When deputies arrived, they located the victim, identified as Laura Ann Carleton, suffering from a gunshot wound. 

‘Emergency medical personnel pronounced Carleton deceased at the scene.’

The update revealed how  deputies rushed to the scene after receiving a report of shots fired outside the clothing store, which typically closes at 6pm.    

They ‘received updates from Sheriff’s Dispatch indicating the suspect, who has not been identified, fled on foot, and was seen on Torrey Road, east of Highway 173,’ cops said. 

‘Deputies located the suspect near Torrey Road and Rause Rancho Road, armed with a handgun.

‘When deputies attempted to contact the suspect, a lethal force encounter occurred and the suspect was pronounced deceased. 

‘No deputies were injured during the incident.’

'If you knew Lauri you know she loved hard, laughed often, and nurtured and protected those she cared about,' the village's Mountain Provisions Cooperative said of the incident. '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.'

‘If you knew Lauri you know she loved hard, laughed often, and nurtured and protected those she cared about,’ the village’s Mountain Provisions Cooperative said of the incident. ‘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.’

That same flag, an apparent show of support from the storeowner toward members of the queer community, was seen unfurled and on the floor at the scene following the incident Friday - which left at least one bullet hole in the store's façade

That same flag, an apparent show of support from the storeowner toward members of the queer community, was seen unfurled and on the floor at the scene following the incident Friday – which left at least one bullet hole in the store’s façade

The Pride flag that sparked the deadly shooting, an apparent show of support from the storeowner toward members of the LGBTQ+ community, was seen unfurled and on the floor at the scene following the incident Friday – which left at least one bullet hole in the store’s façade.

The Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail also responded to the scene, at which point they assumed responsibility over the investigation.

Officers from that detail were the ones to learn the suspect had allegedly initiated the encounter by commenting about the Pride flag – before shooting the mom-of-nine right outside the store she both owned and operated for years.

On Sunday, as friends continued to mourn the late business owner’s passing, a colorful shrine could be seen outside the establishment.

The store, which opened in the scenic mountain village just over a decade ago, was one of two trendy clothing shops that had been operated by Carleton – with the other located on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City in Los Angeles.

Carleton –  who known to friends as Lauri – split time with her kids and husband there and in Lake Arrowhead, where the family owned a restored 1920’s Fisherman’s Cabin.

Carleton - who known to friends as Lauri - split time with her kids and husband there and in Lake Arrowhead, where the family owned a restored 1920's Fisherman's Cabin

Carleton – who known to friends as Lauri – split time with her kids and husband there and in Lake Arrowhead, where the family owned a restored 1920’s Fisherman’s Cabin

The store, which opened in the scenic mountain village just over a decade ago, was one of two trendy clothing shops that had been operated by Carleton - with the other located on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City in Los Angeles

The store, which opened in the scenic mountain village just over a decade ago, was one of two trendy clothing shops that had been operated by Carleton – with the other located on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City in Los Angeles

A biography offered on the woman's website harks back to some of her accomplishments as a renowned fashion figure in Southern California, where she spent years as an exec for firms like Kenneth Cole, before focusing on her stores in Studio City and Lake Arrowhead respectively

A biography offered on the woman’s website harks back to some of her accomplishments as a renowned fashion figure in Southern California, where she spent years as an exec for firms like Kenneth Cole, before focusing on her stores in Studio City and Lake Arrowhead respectively

A biography offered on the woman’s website harks back to some of her accomplishments as a renowned fashion figure in Southern California.

‘Lauri Carleton’s career in fashion began early in her teens, working in the family business at Fred Segal Feet in Los Angeles while attending Art Center School of Design. 

‘From there she ran ‘the’ top fashion shoe floor in the US at Joseph Magnin Century City. 

‘Eventually she joined Kenneth Cole almost from its inception and remained there for over fifteen years as an executive, building highly successful businesses, working with factories and design teams in Italy and Spain, and traveling 200 plus days a year. 

‘With a penchant for longevity, she has been married to the same man for 28 years and is the mother of a blended family of nine children, the youngest being identical twin girls. 

‘She and her husband have traveled the greater part of the US, Europe and South America. 

‘From these travels they have nourished a passion for architecture, design, fine art, food, fashion, and have consequently learned to drink in and appreciate the beauty, style and brilliance of life.’

Following her death, several posts and processions from members of the quiet town surfaced memorializing Carleton.

Following her death, several posts and processions from members of the quiet town surfaced memorializing Carleton.

Following her death, several posts and processions from members of the quiet town surfaced memorializing Carleton. They also vowed the former Kenneth Cole exec’s death ‘would not be in vain.’

One, from the village’s Mountain Provisions Cooperative, remembered her as a ‘pillar in [the] community, an immovable force in her values for equality, love, and justice.’

It read: ‘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.’

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