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The North Star Online

The official news site of J.W. North High School

The North Star Online

The official news site of J.W. North High School

The North Star Online

Lake Arrowhead Shop Owner Shot and Killed For Displaying LGBTQ Flag

Memorial for Ms. Carleton outside of her clothing store.

On Friday, August 18, Laura Ann Carleton, a store owner in Lake Arrowhead, was tragically shot and killed for displaying a pride flag in her clothing store.


Deputies responded to a call reporting a shooting at 5 pm at the Mag. Pi clothing store in Cedar Glen, where Ms. Carleton was found dead from a gunshot wound. The suspect fled the scene on foot and later sustained fatal injuries in a confrontation with deputies.

Sheriff Shannon Dicus told reporters in a media briefing, “Investigators determined that prior to the shooting the suspect tore down a Pride, or rainbow, flag that was hanging in front of the store and yelled many homophobic slurs toward Carleton” (AP news).

The suspect had been identified as 27-year old Travis Ikeguchi, who frequently posted various hateful and anti-LGBTQ content on social media. He was in possession of a handgun, believed to be unregistered, and was reported missing a day before the shooting, according to the report released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department .

According to friends and family, Ms. Carleton was a valuable and involved member in the Lake Arrowhead community, as well as a successful businesswoman who owned two clothing stores. Her business centered on responsible sourcing of high quality materials, with a focus on local artists and businesses. 

Ms. Carleton’s daughter, Ari Carleton, told the New York Times that her mother was a pillar of the community, who promoted values of love, acceptance, and quality with her store. While she did not identify as LGBTQ+ herself, she was a big supporter and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in the Lake Arrowhead community.

This tragic incident sheds light on the substantial increase in the number of LGBTQ related hate crimes in recent years.  The California Department of Justice released a State of Pride report in June, stating that “Between 2021 and 2022 there were over 391 reported hate crime events motivated by sexual orientation bias (an increase of 29% from the previous year).” 


We offer our deepest condolences to Carleton’s family and the Lake Arrowhead community.

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