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Jamie Lee Curtis leads tributes to California store owner killed over Pride flag row

"Thank you for your allyship. Thank you for your love"

By Charlotte Manning

Laura Ann Carleton
Laura Ann Carleton was shot dead in California (Image: (Instagram/@mountainprovisionscooperative)

Jamie Lee Curtis, Paul Feig and Bridget Everett are amongst those to lead tributes to Laura Ann Carleton, who was killed after a dispute over a Pride flag. 

The suspect, who has now been named as Travis Ikeguchi, 27, made “disparaging remarks” about the Pride flag that stood outside her Mag.Pi clothing store on 18 August.

He then fatally shot Carleton, 66, with emergency medical personnel pronouncing her deceased at the scene.

Ikeguchi, who was armed with a handgun, was later located. Authorities added that “a lethal force encounter occurred and the suspect was pronounced deceased.”

“Thank you for your allyship. Thank you for your love.”

Jamie Lee Curtis has since led tributes int he aftermath of the horrific killing, writing on Instagram: “My hand in yours @alokvmenon.”

“I feel deeply saddened by this,” she continued. “This is our country now and we can’t look away. Rest in peace Laura Ann Carleton, a mother of nine. Thank you for your allyship. Thank you for your love. I’ll never forget you.”

Oscar winner Curtis has previously shown herself to be an unwavering LGBTQ+ ally. She spoke earlier this year of her vow to protect her trans daughter Ruby Guest

US Comedian Bridget Everett also paid tribute to her friend, where she began by detailing the tragic events of the weekend. 

Everett told followers that Carleton had been confronted over her Pride flag before, explaining: “In the past, when someone took down her flag or vandalized it, she’d put up another one. 

She went on: “The last time I saw Lauri was, oddly enough, at Lake Arrowhead pride both in the parade and then at a party. All that anti-LGBTQ rhetoric has a price. And now, Lauri’s husband Bort, her daughters, friends and community are devastated. And for what?”

Feel Good star Mae Martin replied: “It’s so senseless and heartbreaking.”

Sex and the City star Kristin Davis said that she “can’t comprehend what has happened.”

She added: “I want Lauri to be known as the HERO she was and is. I want her her family to know we are thinking of them and for everyone to know that we must continue to stand up for what is right!” 

Hollywood director Paul Feig, who was a close friend, described her as a “true LGBTQ+ ally” and stated how her death must “not be in vain.”

“Anyone using hateful language against the LGBTQ+ community has to realize their words matter”

On Instagram he wrote next to a picture of the pair together: “Our wonderful friend Lauri Carlton (seen in this picture) was murdered yesterday in her store @magpi_shop in Lake Arrowhead by a 27 year old man who didn’t like that she had a large pride flag hanging outside of her shop. 

“He ripped it down and when she confronted him about it he shot and killed her. We are all devastated for her husband Bort and her family and the LGBTQ+ community, for whom Lauri was such a true ally. 

Feig went on: “Her alleged murderer was later shot and killed by the San Bernardino police and so no longer poses a threat to the community. 

“But this intolerance has to end. Anyone using hateful language against the LGBTQ+ community has to realize their words matter. Their words can inspire violence against innocent loving people. 

“Let’s all keep moving forward with tolerance and love. Let’s not let Lauri’s tragic death be in vain,” he concluded. 

Charlize Theron replied calling the death “heartbreaking”, while One Tree Hill star Sophie Bush echoed: “Truly heartbreaking.”