Tragedy has struck the community of Cedar Glen, in southern California, with the owner of the Mag.Pi clothing store being fatally shot following a dispute over an LGBTQ+ Pride flag displayed outside her store.

The incident occurred around 5 p.m. on Friday, with local authorities quickly responding. Upon arrival, San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies found Laura Ann Carleton, 66, with a fatal gunshot injury. She was declared dead on-site. The suspect, whose identity remains undisclosed, fled the scene shortly after the crime.

Witnesses reported that before the fatal shooting, the assailant voiced several derogatory comments about the rainbow flag outside Carleton’s establishment.


After a prompt search, deputies confronted the armed suspect, which resulted in a deadly exchange. The confrontation ended with the suspect’s death, and fortunately, no deputies sustained injuries. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is still actively investigating the full circumstances of the event.

Laura “Lauri” Carleton was not only a business owner but also a dedicated family woman with a husband and nine children. The Mag.Pi clothing store’s website provides a glimpse into her life, revealing a passion for fashion that started young. Carleton was an alumna of the Art Center School of Design and boasted an illustrious 15-year tenure as an executive at Kenneth Cole.

The devastating news has resulted in an outpouring of tributes commemorating Carleton’s life and contributions. The Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ organisation highlighted Carleton’s consistent support and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community, even though she didn’t identify as a member.


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Furthermore, Mountain Provisions Cooperative, a regional food co-op, lauded the efforts of both Carleton and her spouse in aiding the organisation of a complimentary store following a blizzard earlier this year. Their heartfelt Instagram post remembered Carleton as a beacon in the community, describing her as an “immovable force in her values for equality, love, and justice.” The post poignantly added, “Lauri loved deeply, frequently shared her joy through laughter, and was unwavering in her care and protection of loved ones.”