Fatal Shooting of California Store Owner over LGBTQ+ Pride Flag Leads to Tragedy and Defiance

by Joshua Brown
LGBTQ+ Pride flag

In California, a woman was tragically killed for seemingly refusing to take down a rainbow Pride flag representing LGBTQ+ rights that was displayed outside her store. A close friend disclosed on Wednesday that she had been steadfast in her resolution never to remove the flag.

The victim, Laura Ann Carleton, met a fatal end when she was shot outside Mag.Pi, her home decor and clothing store situated in Cedar Glen, a mountain community to the east of Los Angeles, last Friday.

Travis Ikeguchi, the individual responsible for the shooting, was subsequently killed by deputies when he engaged them in gunfire soon afterward, as stated by San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus on Monday. The authorities further revealed that Ikeguchi had a history of posting anti-LGBTQ material on his social media accounts.

Korey Pollard, whose spouse was employed at Mag.Pi, reflected on Carleton’s unyielding stance in the face of criticism for flying the rainbow flag outside her small business establishment. According to Pollard, Carleton often declared her unwavering commitment to this symbol, even going as far as to order a larger replacement flag when the existing one had faded.

Just prior to shooting Carleton, Ikeguchi removed the Pride flag from her shop’s exterior while uttering homophobic insults, as reported by the sheriff.

Laura Ann Carleton, affectionately known as “Lauri,” leaves behind a husband and a blended family of nine children.

Though not identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community herself, Carleton was actively involved in supporting and advocating for everyone. She was defending her Pride flags in front of her shop on the fateful night she was killed, according to an LGBTQ group in neighboring Lake Arrowhead.

Korey Pollard, who had been friends with Carleton for over a decade, spoke at a second Mag.Pi location in Los Angeles, where he had been asked by Carleton’s family to dismantle a growing makeshift memorial at the front door of the LA store. Pollard articulated the beauty of the memorial’s intent but stated that it did not align with Lauri’s principles. He also expressed concern about potential “copycat situations” and the risk they might pose.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about LGBTQ+ Pride flag

Who was the California woman killed over an LGBTQ+ Pride flag?

Laura Ann Carleton was the woman fatally shot outside her store in Cedar Glen, California, for refusing to remove an LGBTQ+ rainbow Pride flag.

What was the name of the store owned by Laura Ann Carleton?

The store owned by Laura Ann Carleton was called Mag.Pi, and it specialized in clothing and home decor.

Who was the shooter, and what happened to him?

Travis Ikeguchi was the shooter, and he was killed by deputies after opening fire on them shortly after killing Carleton.

Did Laura Ann Carleton identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community?

No, Laura Ann Carleton did not identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, but she actively supported and advocated for LGBTQ+ rights.

What were the shooter’s motives, according to the sheriff?

According to the sheriff, Travis Ikeguchi tore down the Pride flag outside Carleton’s shop and shouted homophobic slurs at her just before shooting her, revealing a motive linked to anti-LGBTQ sentiments.

Who spoke on behalf of Carleton’s family and what did he say?

Korey Pollard, a longtime friend of Carleton, spoke on behalf of her family. He discussed Carleton’s defiance in keeping the flag and shared the family’s concern about a makeshift memorial, fearing potential copycat situations.

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Mike Chen August 23, 2023 - 10:36 pm

I dont get why people have to be so cruel. This story really makes you think about where society is heading. RIP Laura.

Tom O'Connor August 23, 2023 - 11:29 pm

i am so angry after reading this. Why are people so hateful these days? We need to stop the hatred and intolerance.

James Smith August 24, 2023 - 5:23 am

I can’t believe what happened to Laura, its a real tragedy. We need more love and acceptance in this world, not hate. Let’s stand together.

Maria Gonzalez August 24, 2023 - 10:17 am

This story just breaks my heart. How could someone be killed over a flag that represents love and equality? it’s unimaginable.

Sophia Lee August 24, 2023 - 1:58 pm

It’s a shame that Laura had to die over something like this. But her story will not be forgotten, and her bravery will inspire many. She stood for love and acceptance.

Karen Williams August 24, 2023 - 4:23 pm

Laura was a hero, fighting for what she believed in. This article is a powerful reminder that we need to keep fighting for what’s right, even in the face of danger.


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