Travis Ikeguchi, 27, was identified by authorities on Monday as the alleged assailant who tragically took the life of Laura Ann Carleton, the owner of the Mag.Pi boutique in Cedar Glen, California, over a displayed rainbow Pride flag.
Before the violent confrontation, Ikeguchi had removed Carleton’s Pride flag from her store’s exterior. When she confronted him, he hurled homophobic insults and subsequently shot her. Carleton, a 66-year-old well-known community figure, tragically died on the spot. Witnesses promptly called 911 as Ikeguchi made his escape.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus informed reporters that deputies encountered Travis Ikeguchi approximately a mile from the store on Friday night. Ikeguchi fired at the deputies, hitting several patrol cars. In response, the deputies fired back, fatally wounding Ikeguchi on the spot. Fortunately, no deputies sustained injuries.
According to reports from the New York Post, Ikeguchi was known to express anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion sentiments on social media platforms like X and Gab. Notably, a post showing a burning Pride flag with a caption questioning its treatment was pinned to his profile on X. Another post on his Gab account depicted a burning Pride flag and called for users to resist “LGBT dictatorship.”
Dicus revealed that before this incident, Ikeguchi wasn’t on the police radar. The firearm used wasn’t registered to him, and he didn’t possess a concealed carry permit. Notably, Ikeguchi had been reported missing by his family just a day before this incident.
The late Laura Ann Carleton, fondly called “Lauri,” is remembered by her husband and their blended family of nine children. Although Carleton wasn’t a part of the LGBTQ community, she was a staunch supporter, as per an LGBTQ group in Lake Arrowhead.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the storefront of her boutique has transformed into a heartfelt memorial, attracting numerous community members who’ve laid down flowers and Pride flags. Amid the flowers, a poignant note read, “Thank you for standing up for what’s right.”
The shooting is still under investigation.