Calif. Authorities Identify Suspect in Murder of Store Owner Over Pride Flag

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus held a press conference on Aug. 21, 2023, to brief the public on the updates to the investigation into the murder of Laura Ann Carleton. (Screenshot via YouTube/KABC)

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus held a press conference Monday to brief the public on the updates to the investigation into the murder of beloved Cedar Glen shop owner Laura Ann Carleton last Friday evening.

The suspect was identified as local resident, 27-year-old Travis Ikeguchi, who had shot and killed Carleton after she confronted him in front of her store over his removal of a Pride flag. The two exchanged words and after yelling homophobic epithets he shot her then fled on foot.

He was followed by several witnesses who reported his location to sheriff’s dispatchers.

Dicus told reporters that deputies from the Twin Peaks substation confronted Ikeguchi near Torrey Road and Rause Rancho Road east of Highway 173, about a mile from the homicide scene at the Mag.Pi clothing boutique at 28938 Hook Creek Road in Cedar Glen.

As deputies attempted to engage the suspect, he refused to drop his weapon and opened fire on them, striking multiple squad cars. The sheriff said the deputies returned fire striking Ikeguchi who died at the scene. Dicus noted that none of his personnel were hurt or injured.

The sheriff noted that the handgun found on Ikeguchi was believed to be the same weapon used to murder Carleton adding that semiautomatic pistol was not registered to him, and he did not have a license to carry a concealed weapon.

Dicus also said during Monday’s media briefing that Ikeguchi’s family had reported him missing the day previous to the shooting.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators said that Ikeguchi frequently posted hate-filled content on social media. News media outlets, including the Los Angeles Blade were able to locate X (formerly known as Twitter) and GAB accounts matching his name.

His social media posts were filled with Christian nationalist hate-filled themes and retweets often targeting the LGBTQ community. Both accounts were still active Monday evening Pacific Time.

Dicus said that the investigation is actively ongoing and that the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office will investigate the shooting of Ikeguchi, as is standard practice with all lethal force encounters involving law enforcement agencies.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Homicide Detail at 909-890-4904.  

Callers wishing to remain anonymous should contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or got to 


Cali. Shop Owner Shot to Death Over Pride Flag

 Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.


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