Authorities identify man accused of killing Southern California store owner over Pride flag

Authorities identify man accused of killing Southern California store owner over Pride flag

Days after a woman was shot and killed at a clothing store in Cedar Glen allegedly for flying a Pride flag at the business, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has identified her suspected killer.

On Monday, the Sheriff’s Department identified the suspect as Travis Ikeguchi, 27, of Cedar Glen.

Ikeguchi is believed to have to have shot and killed 66-year-old Laura Ann Carleton Friday night at her business, Mag.Pi, a clothing store in Cedar Glen.

Carleton was found suffering from a gunshot wound at the property and was declared dead at the scene, authorities said.

Her alleged gunman fled the scene on foot, but was shot and killed by deputies following a confrontation. He was found to be in possession of an unregistered 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun.

He did not have any identification on his person, which kept authorities from releasing his name, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The motive for the killing is believed to be linked to Carleton flying a Pride flag outside of her business. Ikeguchi is alleged to have made “several disparaging remarks” about the flag, before shooting the store owner.

Ari Carleton, one of Laura’s children, described her as “fearless” and a “fierce ally” of the LGBTQ community, telling the Los Angeles Times that, “We have plenty of members of the community in our family and our close friend groups. So it was just important to her. Because those are people that I was raised around and always loved.”

Carleton was a longtime fashion contributor, curator and entrepreneur, according to her store’s website.

She got her start in the industry working for Fred Segal Feet in Los Angeles while she attended the Art Center School of Design. A second Mag.Pi location can be found in Studio City.

“Mag.Pi for Lauri is all about tackling everyday life with grace and ease and continuing to dream,” her online biography reads.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is continuing its investigation into Carleton’s killing, including working with law enforcement partners to track down additional information about the unregistered murder weapon.

Anyone with information about the investigation is urged to call the SBSD’s Homicide Detail at 909-890-4904. Anonymous tips can be submitted online or by calling the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-782-7463.

No law enforcement personnel were hurt during the confrontation with Ikeguchi.