Suspect in Fatal Shooting of California Store Owner Shared Anti-LGBTQ+ Posts on Social Media: Officials

Travis Ikeguchi, 27, was named in connection with the slaying Friday of clothing store owner Laura Ann Carleton, a mother of nine, in Lake Arrowhead.

via: ABC 7

Ikeguchi shot and killed 66-year-old Carleton because she displayed a Pride flag outside her business.

During a Monday afternoon press conference, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said a 911 caller told dispatchers Ikeguchi cut down the flag while he argued with Carleton before shooting her. He also said the suspect yelled “many homophobic slurs” toward Carleton.

Ikeguchi fled the scene on foot, but was found by sheriff’s deputies close to Carleton’s store, where he was fatally shot in a confrontation, authorities said.

Mara Rodriguez, SBCSD’s public information officer, said the day before the shooting, Ikeguchi’s family reported him missing though details regarding that report weren’t available.

Rodriguez also discussed Ikeguchi’s social media activity and said the 27-year-old had made statements criticizing the LGBTQ+ community on X (formerly known as Twitter) and Gab.

“The content of Ikeguchi’s social media posts contained posts critical to the LGBTQIA community,” said Rodriguez.

According to a Gab post obtained by Eyewitness News, Ikeguchi shared a photo of a burning Pride flag and wrote, “We need to stop compromising on this LGBT dictatorship and not let them take over our lives.” The caption later asked, “Who has the courage to post this and feel no shame of it!?”

Rodriguez said Ikeguchi would also repost videos associated with “anti-law enforcement content.”

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