Who Was Travis Ikeguchi? Man Who Shot Dead California Store Owner Over a Pride Flag Made Anti-LGBTQ and Anti-Democratic Posts on Social Media

Following his identification by the police, it has come to light that Ikeguchi expressed strong opposition to the LGBTQ community through his social media posts.

Police identified a man on Monday who fatally shot a California business owner last week after he allegedly objected to a Pride flag that the victim had displayed at her clothing store in Lake Arrowhead, California. The Sheriff's office said that the killing is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

The suspect was identified as Travis Ikeguchi, 27, who was responsible for fatally shooting Laura Ann Carleton, 66, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said at a press conference on Monday. The incident occurred on Friday, with Ikeguchi allegedly shouting several homophobic slurs directed at the Pride flag displayed at the store before shooting Carleton.

Out of Sheer Hatred

Travis Ikeguchi
Travis Ikeguchi Twitter

Following his identification by the police, it has come to light that Ikeguchi expressed strong opposition to the LGBTQ community through his social media posts. One post pinned to the top of an account featured an image of a burning Pride flag.

'We need to STOP COMPROMISING on this LGBT dictatorship and not let them take over our lives! Stop accepting this abomination that the government is forcing us to submit to these mentally disordered tyrants,' he wrote to accompany the picture.

Ikeguchi fatally shot Carleton on Friday before he was killed by the police. The incident was reportedly triggered by Carleton's decision to display a Pride flag at her clothing store.

Travis Ikeguchi
One of the anti-LGBTQ posts made by Travis Ikeguchi on social media Twitter

Carleton, a respected figure in the mountain community and a mother of nine, was an experienced professional in the fashion and footwear industry. Her close-knit community held her in high regard.

In a eulogy, friends said that Carleton had tragically passed away due to her unwavering commitment to the values she embraced and championed.

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus stated on Monday that Ikeguchi had been heard "yelling many homophobic slurs" directed at the Pride flag displayed outside Carleton's clothing store before he proceeded to open fire.

Ikeguchi fled the scene and was later killed after engaging in an encounter with deputies on Friday.

Laura Ann Carleton
Laura Ann Carleton Twitter

The law enforcement department, responsible for the largest county in the US, reported that the assailant had "made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton."

Ikeguchi's GAB page, a blogging site often associated with right-wing users, contained numerous references to religion, anti-democratic sentiments, criticism of law enforcement, and indications of a stance on self-defense.

"America must repent for a lot of things we allow; abortion/baby killing, sexual immortality, pornography, same-sex marriages, LGBTQP/pedophilia, freemasonry, religiosity, politics, wars, colonialism, the federal reserve," he wrote in a post.

"We allow the Federal Reserve to make a profit off of these abominations, we allow the Judicial supremacist groups to make decisions for us and we don't notice it. There is no political solution. We must repent and accept Christ in our hearts. Share this to others, please!"

Another tweet from August 5 mentioned LGBTQ people and stated: "Even though this f***** doesn't like to be labeled as LGBTQP, he is still a f***** and we should allow f***** in our society anyway even if they don't to be called these mentally ill pronouns,' Ikeguchi wrote on a video by Amal Ekpunobi that states why he doesn't like the label.

"Homosexuals still at any form should be illegal," Ikeguchi noted.

Unexpected Attack

The store's front window had a single bullet hole in it, and next to it, mourners had attached a note that said, "Thank you all for your love."

Travis Ikeguchi
ANother post made by Travis Ikeguchi Twitter

"On Friday, August 18, 2023, at 5pm, deputies from the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Station responded to a report of a person who had been shot at the Mag Pi clothing store on Hook Creek Road," sheriff's officials said.

"When deputies arrived, they located the victim, identified as Laura Ann Carleton, suffering from a gunshot wound.

"Emergency medical personnel pronounced Carleton deceased at the scene."

The update revealed that deputies quickly responded to the scene upon receiving a report of gunshots outside the clothing store, which typically concludes its operations by 6 pm.

Cops received updates from the Sheriff's Dispatch, indicating that the yet-to-be-identified suspect had fled the scene on foot. The suspect was reportedly seen on Torrey Road, located to the east of Highway 173.

Travis Ikeguchi
Travis Ikeguchi Twitter

"Deputies located the suspect near Torrey Road and Rause Rancho Road, armed with a handgun. When deputies attempted to contact the suspect, a lethal force encounter occurred and the suspect was pronounced deceased.

"No deputies were injured during the incident," cops said.

The Pride flag, which seemingly represented the store owner's support for the LGBTQ+ community, was seen unfurled and lying on the ground at the scene after the incident on Friday. The incident resulted in at least one bullet hole in the store's façade.

As friends continued to grieve the loss of the business owner, a vibrant memorial could be seen outside the establishment on Sunday.