Main | Saturday, May 18, 2013

BREAKING: Gay Man Shot To Death In West Village Hate Crime, Suspect In Custody Has Confessed

A gay man was shot to death early this morning after being chased out of a West Village fast food restaurant by a man shouting homphobic slurs. This is the fourth and obviously most grievous anti-gay hate crime to hit Manhattan in the last few weeks.  The New York Post reports on the murder and provides the below photo of the suspect:
The 32-year-old Brooklyn victim was shot in the head at about midnight at West 8th Street and Sixth Avenue and died at Beth Israel Hospital. His name was not released pending family notification, cops said. The gunman ran five blocks before cops collared him at West Third Street and MacDougal Street, according to police radio transmissions. The shooter appeared crazed and confessed to the shooting after he was nabbed, a police source said. “It was a quickie. He shot him and he went straight to the ground,” said a bouncer at a nearby club. “Half his body was lying on the sidewalk and half was on the street.”
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn issued a statement this afternoon.
“I am horrified to learn that last night, a gay man was murdered in my district after being chased out of a Greenwich Village restaurant and assailed by homophobic slurs. I stand with all New Yorkers in condemning this attack. There was a time in New York City when hate crimes were a common occurrence. There was a time in New York City when two people of the same gender could not walk down the street arm-in-arm without fear of violence and harassment. We refuse to go back to that time. This kind of shocking and senseless violence, so deeply rooted in hate, has no place in a City whose greatest strength will always be its diversity. I thank the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force and the 6th Precinct for their swift response in apprehending the suspect responsible for this incomprehensible murder and urge anyone with additional information about this attack to contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS."
Also issuing a statement today is Sharon Stapel, head of the NYC LGBT Anti-Violence Project.
"AVP is deeply disturbed by this act of violence and is working closely with the Speaker and the NYPD to determine what happened. AVP will be gathering community members on Friday Night, May 24th, for a Community Safety Night and we ask everyone to join us."
Gray's Papaya is one block from the eastern end of Christopher Street and is a popular late-night stop for clubgoers. New York City activists staged an anti-hate crimes protest rally outside of Madison Square Garden just two days ago.

UPDATE: More details on the crime.
Law enforcement sources say the victim, who lived in Brooklyn, was walking with a friend along Sixth Avenue at about midnight when a group that included the suspect, made anti-gay remarks. A short time later, the suspect and the victim crossed paths again. Then, the suspect allegedly pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and shot the victim once in the head. The gunman ran five blocks before cops captured him at West Third Street and MacDougal Street, on the edge of the NYU campus. The busy and well-traveled intersection of 8th Street, Sixth Avenue and Greenwich Avenue is just a few blocks from Washington Square Park. The suspect had a fake ID on him when he was taken into custody.
UPDATE II: NY1 has further details.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the shooting took place shortly after midnight at West 4th Street and Barrow Street and it is classified as a hate crime. Kelly said the suspected gunman was caught urinating on the outside wall of a West Village bar, and then he walked into the bar and threatened the bartender with a silver pistol. The suspect then left the bar with two other men, and the trio confronted the victim and a male companion walking down the street. The alleged shooter called the victim and companion anti-gay slurs and asked if they were "gay wrestlers," according to Kelly. After the victim was shot once, the suspect fled to MacDougal Street and West 3rd Street, where Kelly said the alleged gunman dropped his weapon and was caught by police.

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