California woman killed for hanging a Pride flag in her store


A 66-year-old woman was shot dead in Southern California on Friday for displaying a Pride flag outside her store, according to law enforcement officials.

MPs were responding to a report on Friday night of a shooting at Mag Pi, a Lake Arrowhead clothing store owned by Laura Ann Carleton. Authorities found Carleton at the store with a gunshot wound and pronounced her dead at the scene. according to a press release from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.

The unidentified male suspect fled the scene on foot before authorities arrived. Law enforcement said the man was armed when confronted by officers and was killed in a “fatal collision involving violence,” according to the sheriff’s department. The investigations are ongoing.

“Through further investigation, investigators learned that the suspect had made several derogatory remarks about a rainbow flag that was outside the store before shooting Carleton,” police said.

Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ, an organization that helps create inclusive spaces for the queer community, posted on Instagram at the weekend in honor of Carleton. Though she didn’t identify as LGBTQ+, according to the organization, she “spent her time helping and advocating for everyone in the community.”

On the shop’s websiteCarleton said that Mag Pi is “about embracing everyday life with grace and ease and dreaming on.” The business owner had a long career in the fashion industry, having once served as an executive at Kenneth Cole for 15 years.

“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 of whom are identical twin girls,” the website reads.

Local Food Cooperative Mountain Provisions Cooperative posted on Facebook on Saturday in honor of Carleton, whom it called “friend, mother of many, ally, organizer, entrepreneur and soul of our cooperative”.

“Lauri was a pillar of our community, an unwavering force in her values ​​of equality, love and justice. If you knew Lauri, you knew that she loved a lot, laughed often and cared for and protected those she cared about. She was a force, she loved to joke and wanted to live as joyful a life as possible,” the post reads.

“We will continue to stand up for the values ​​she so selflessly championed. Her death will not be in vain.”

The cooperative encouraged people to “fly their flags in honor of Lauri”.

“Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig posted a tribute on social media to Carleton, whom he called a “wonderful friend” and a “true ally” of the queer community.

“Lauri Carleton was my girlfriend. She was a wonderful person who did so much for the LGTBQ+ community and the community at large.” Feig tweeted. “What happened to her is an absolute tragedy. If people don’t believe that anti-gay and transgender rhetoric isn’t dangerous, then think again.”

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