A memorial service was held on Wednesday, May 29, in New York City for 32-year-old Mark Carson, who was shot and killed earlier this month in Greenwich Village, historically known as New York City’s LGBT district.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that Elliot Morales entered the bar where Carson was and his friends were patrons. Morales began to shout homophobic slurs and threatened Carson, showing him the gun, which was held in a holster.
The gunman then left the bar, but later joined two of his friends and began to harass Carson and his friend, screaming homophobic remarks such as, “Look at these faggots. What are you, gay wrestlers?”
The gunman then stopped Carson and asked him, “Do you want to die here?” Morales then shot Carson in the cheek.
Carson was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital.
Morales was arrested nearby shortly afterwards. The New York City police have named the incident as a hate crime.
Officer Kelly said the crime couldn’t be considered anything else but a hate crime. “There were no words that would aggravate the situation that were spoken by the victims. They did not know the confronter. There was no previous relationship” Kelly told reporters.
“I am horrified to learn that last night, a gay man was murdered in my district after being chased out of a Greenwich Village restaurant and assailed by homophobic slurs. I stand with all New Yorkers in condemning this attack” New York City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, who is running to be the city’s first lesbian mayor, said in a statement.
Morales now faces charges of second-degree murder as a hate crime, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.