Late Friday night, a gunman claiming to be the Newtown shooter chased after 32-year-old Mark Carson through the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City shouting homophobic slurs at him, and ultimately shot him in the face. Carson was pronounced dead upon arrival at Beth Israel Medical Center. After an ensuing policing chase, the suspect was taken into custody and later identified as 33-year-old Elliot Morales, who has previously spent ten years in prison for robbery.
On Saturday, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly explained that “this clearly looks to be a hate crime.” There have already been 22 bias-related crimes reported in New York City this year, a sharp increase over 13 such crimes during the same period last year. Carson’s murder was the fifth incident this month alone. Earlier this month, a same-sex couple walking arm-in-arm were brutally beaten in broad daylight just outside Madison Square Garden by a group of men calling them faggots.
Hundreds attended a midnight candlelight vigil Saturday night, where speakers repeatedly implored the crowd to “Say his name!” prompting a response of “Mark Carson, Mark Carson, MARK CARSON!” This afternoon, the city’s LGBT Community Center has organized a march and rally in response to Carson’s death and the spate of hate crimes against gay men.
Watch a video of Saturday night’s vigil (via Joe.My.God.):