This was announced by the San Bernardino Police Department, a location near Los Angeles. Last Friday, around 5:00 PM, officers arrived at the clothing store of Laura Ann Carleton in Lake Arrowhead, where she was found dead. The shooter had already left by that time. When the police later located him, he was shot and killed by officers.
After a police investigation, it was revealed that before shooting the store owner, the man had made "derogatory remarks" about the pride flag hanging on Carleton's store facade.
According to the local LGBT+ association, Carleton wasn't a part of the LGBT+ community herself, but she was undoubtedly a strong ally. "Lauri's unwavering support for the LGBT+ community and her dedication to creating a safe space in her store have impacted the lives of many," the organisation stated in an Instagram story. "Her untimely death as a result of a senseless act of violence has left all of us deeply saddened."
The local supermarket, Mountain Provisions Cooperative, mentioned on social media that Carleton had been instrumental in helping organise a free store after the area was hit by a snowstorm this year. "Lauri was a pillar of support in our community.
"If you knew Lauri," the message continues, "you know that she gave a lot of love, often laughed, and cherished and protected those she cared about." The store encourages the residents of the town to "raise flags in honour of Lauri. Love will prevail."
The police have not yet concluded the investigation into the murder.