A California woman was shot and murdered on Friday by a man who took umbridge with an LGBTQ pride flag flying outside her store, according to a San Bernadino County sheriff statement.
The victim, 66-year-old Laura Ann Carleton, was the owner of the Mag.Pi clothing store in Cedar Glen. Police were notified of the shooting and discovered Carleton dead at the scene.
Shortly after, the police officers managed to locate the suspect, still armed, on a nearby street. A firefight soon broke out and the suspect was eventually killed.
An LGBT pride flag: Something to kill over?
According to the Sherriff's Department, the suspect, who has yet to be identified, made "several disparaging remarks" about the rainbow flag that was flown outside the store.
Carleton, also known as Lauri, was a mother of nine who, while not a member of the LGBTQ community, advocated for them and was considered a pillar of the community, according to people and organizations that shared tributes on social media following her death.
Carleton was "a beloved member of the Cedar Glen community. This senseless act of hate and violence is unthinkable and I stand with my mountain communities as we mourn this incredible loss," San Bernadino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe said in a statement, according to CBS News Los Angeles. "Everyone deserves to live free of hate and discrimination and practice their constitutional right of freedom of speech. Lauri was a remarkable member of the community and I send my deepest condolences to her family in this time of grief."
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"Lauri was a pillar in our community, an immovable force in her values for equality, love, and justice," noted an Instagram post by the Mountain Provisions Cooperative, a local food co-op that Carleton took part in.
"Pay an act of kindness forward in her honor. Our community needs as much love as we can get right now. Fly your flags in honor of Lauri."