A man was subjected to homophobic slurs in New York City's Greenwich Village in the early minutes of Saturday before being shot in the face and later dying of his wounds.
Two men were walking near Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street when three men accosted them, hurling homophobic slurs and asking them if they were "gay wrestlers." One of the three aggressors took off, but the other two continued following the men. "Do you want to die here?" one of the aggressors asked before shooting 32-year-old Mark Carson in the face. The Brooklyn man later died at Beth Israel hospital.
The accused killer, later identified as 33-year-old Elliot Morales, ran off and headed downtown, but was quickly nabbed by police who are calling the murder a hate crime.
The night of the shooting, the accused killer was involved in an earlier confrontation, telling a bouncer at a club that he was the killer from the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut. Read more here.
Gay men have been attacked in five separate incidents over a three-week period in New York City. One attack occurred on May 10, another on May 5, both near Madison Square Garden.
New York state senator Brad Hoylman, representing Manhattan, released the following statement: "I am outraged by the recent wave of anti-LGBT violence in our City and it is shocking and extremely distressing that a man was shot to death just this morning apparently because he was gay. Nobody anywhere should have to live with fear of harm because of his or her sexual orientation. It is particularly upsetting that recent anti-LGBT incidents have occurred in neighborhoods in my district on the West Side of Manhattan, home to many members of our community. I applaud the NYPD for making a swift arrest in this case and call on all New Yorkers to unite against hate and gun violence."