The suspect in a California woman’s murder over a Pride flag was killed in a shootout

A business owner was fatally shot Friday after someone allegedly took issue with a Pride flag she had displayed at her clothing store in Cedar Glen, Calif. Here, a Progress Pride Flag is held above a crowd of LGBTQ+ activists in West Hollywood, Calif., in April 2023.

Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images

Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images

Authorities say that Travis Ikeguchi, a man suspected of murdering a Southern California woman over the LGBTQ+ Pride flag displayed at her clothing store, was killed in a shootout with police on Friday.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies responded to the Mag.Pi clothing store in Cedar Glen, Calif., at around 5 p.m. local time Friday for reports of a shooting.

Deputies discovered 66-year-old Laura Ann Carleton suffering from a gunshot wound. Carleton was pronounced dead at the scene, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Travis Ikeguchi, a 27-year-old from Cedar Glen, Calif., fired at officers when they confronted him about a mile from the scene later Friday, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus told reporters Monday. Deputies returned fire and struck Ikeguchi, who died at the scene, Dicus said.

The sheriff said the suspect had torn down the Pride flag and “yelled many homophobic slurs at Carleton” before shooting her.

The sheriff’s department says it’s investigating the 9mm semi-automatic handgun used by the suspect, which was not registered to him.

Carleton, who went by “Lauri,” had a husband and nine children, according to the clothing store’s website. She owned and operated the Mag.Pi clothing store and began her career in fashion at an early age.

Carleton studied at the ArtCenter College of Design and had a long career in the fashion industry, including a 15-year run as an executive at Kenneth Cole, the site said.

Tributes continue to pour in honoring Carleton following news of the fatal shooting.

The Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ organization took to social media to address the shooting, saying that while Carleton did not identify as a member, she spent her time helping and being an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ community.

Mountain Provisions Cooperative, a local food co-op, said on Instagram that Carleton and her husband had been pivotal in helping organize a free store after a blizzard hit the area earlier this year.

“Lauri was a pillar in our community, an immovable force in her values for equality, love, and justice,” according to the post. “If you knew Lauri you know she loved hard, laughed often, and nurtured and protected those she cared about.”

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