Director Paul Feig took to social media to pay tribute to his friend, Laura Ann Carleton, who was gunned down on Friday for displaying an LGBTQ+ Pride flag outside her store in Lake Arrowhead, California.
According to a press release, deputies responded to a report of a shooting at Carleton's clothing store, Mag Pi, where they found the owner with a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police later shared:
“Through further investigation, detectives learned the suspect made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton."
The armed shooter fled the scene on foot and, when located and confronted by authorities, was killed during a “lethal force encounter.”
Bridesmaids director Feig shared his dismay on Instagram, honoring Carleton and calling for an end to intolerance.
Accompanying a photo of himself with Carleton, he wrote:
"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."
"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, that 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."
People on social media mourned the loss of a friend, a loved one, and an ally of the community, and seconded Feig's call for an end to hate.
The community of Lake Arrowhead is also mourning the loss of an outspoken ally.
Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ posted:
"Today was a very sad day for Lake Arrowhead and for the LGBTQ community."
"Our friend and supporter Lauri Carleton @magpi_shop was murdered defending her lgbtq+ Pride flags in front of her store in Cedar Glen California."
"Lauri did not identify as LGBTQ+, but spent her time helping & advocating for everyone in the community."
"She will be truly missed."
Mountain Provisions Cooperative also posted a tribute to Carleton on Facebook, noting that she was 'a pillar in our community, an immovable force in her values for equality, love, and justice.'
They also included photos of the makeshift memorial outside Carleton's shop following her murder.
Such a terrible and senseless loss. Thank you for your support and advocacy, Laura.