Gay Desert Hot Springs

Palm Springs community in mourning following shooting death of LGBTQ ally in San Bernardino County

Posted on August 25, 2023

Laura “Lauri” Ann Carleton was shot and killed by a man who sheriff’s deputies say made homophobic and disparaging remarks about her shop’s Pride flag. Deputies killed the suspect after he fled the scene.

WWW.THEPALMSPRINGSPOST.COM BY KENDALL BALCHAN ● COMMUNITY ● AUGUST 23, 2023

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A makeshift memorial can be seen outside Mag.pi in Cedar Glen. Its owner, Lauri Carleton was fatally shot last week.

Palm Springs leaders are among those adding their voices to the chorus of lawmakers and celebrities condemning the killing of a woman who displayed a Pride flag outside her shop in Cedar Glen near Lake Arrowhead.

Laura Ann “Lauri” Carleton was shot and killed Friday evening by a man who sheriff’s deputies say made homophobic and disparaging remarks about the shop’s Pride flag. San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies killed the suspect after he fled the scene.

On Tuesday, when the suspect’s identity was revealed, officials said he had a history of making social media posts that were violent and threatening toward the LGBTQ+ community.

Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner released a statement on Monday saying the city is “shocked and saddened by the tragic murder.” She assured the community that the Palm Springs Police Department takes all hate crimes seriously, and they are “proactively monitoring the events” in Cedar Glen.

On social media, City Councilmember Lisa Middleton posted a statement on Saturday saying she and her wife Chery were morning Carleton.

She added, “[A]ll Americans deserve to be safe from gun violence, and we must reject hate, fear and discrimination in all its forms.”

California Gov. Gavin Governor Newsom, film director Paul Feig, and actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Kristin Davis are among the notable figures who have voiced their outrage over Carleton’s killing.

Sarah Kate Ellis, the chief executive and president of the LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD, said in a statement Monday, “Lauri’s murder is the latest example of how anti-LGBTQ hatred hurts everyone, whether they are LGBTQ or not.”

Recent reports show there was a spike in anti-LGBTQ+ hate and extremism during Pride month this year, with at least 145 incidents documented nationwide.

Carleton herself was not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, but one of her nine children, Ari, told The New York Times that her mother preached “love, acceptance and equality.” 

Carleton’s business, Mag.pi is listed as a business ally on the Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ community group page. Residents say she had been angrily confronted about the Pride flag in the past, and she had recently ordered a new Pride flag to replace the one that had faded.


To assist: The Carleton family, alongside Mountain Provisions Cooperative and Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+, have created a memorial fund that “aims to keep her spirit alive by supporting local and inclusive community-building initiatives that reflect these same values.” Click here to find more information or make a donation. 

Author

KENDALL BALCHAN

Kendall was born and raised in the Coachella Valley and brings deep local knowledge and context to every story. Before joining The Post she spent three years as a producer and investigative reporter at NBC Palm Springs. She attended both College of the Desert and the University of Oregon.