Store owner killed in dispute over displaying Pride flag: Police

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A tragedy unfolded in Cedar Glen, an unincorporated community on the shores of Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County, when Laura Ann Carleton, a beloved apparel shop owner and clothier from California, lost her life in a horrific incident. The heart-wrenching event occurred on a fateful Friday evening, as the sun began its descent. Laura, a devoted mother to nine children and a married woman, was fatally shot outside her clothing store. The incident has sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community, leaving many grieving for her untimely loss.

The circumstances surrounding Laura’s death are both alarming and saddening. Allegedly, a gunman confronted Laura about a rainbow pride flag displayed proudly outside her establishment. The situation escalated tragically as the individual reportedly made derogatory remarks about the flag before opening fire on Laura. The local law enforcement authorities, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office, have been investigating the incident. Their findings indicate that the assailant fled the scene on foot but was eventually located by diligent sheriff’s deputies near Laura’s store. A confrontation ensued, leading to the suspect being fatally shot by law enforcement officers. The authorities reported that the assailant was armed with a handgun and had refused to comply with orders to disarm.

The loss of Laura Carleton is a somber reminder of the hate and intolerance that continue to persist in society. The community and the country at large are grappling with the impact of her passing. The sheriff’s office has released a statement regarding the tragic event, acknowledging the encounter’s fatal outcome and vowing to continue the investigation. No law enforcement officers were harmed during the incident.

Laura’s story is one of determination and passion. She began her journey in the fashion world as a teenager and honed her skills at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. Her dedication to fashion design led her to Kenneth Cole Productions, where she worked for over 15 years, eventually ascending to an executive role within the company. Kenneth Cole, a renowned figure in the industry, confirmed Laura’s affiliation with the company and expressed his grief over her “unnecessary and tragic” passing in a heartfelt social media post.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Laura’s life was characterized by her strong family ties and unwavering support for the LGBTQ+ community. She and her husband shared a home in Studio City, Los Angeles, and owned a historic fisherman’s cabin in Lake Arrowhead. Laura’s online presence reflected her commitment to her family and her values, describing her enduring marriage of 28 years and her role as the mother of a diverse blended family, including identical twin girls.

In Lake Arrowhead, Laura’s dedication to LGBTQ+ rights was well-known. Her store proudly displayed rainbow pride flags, an emblem of acceptance and equality. The local LGBTQ+ community remembered her as a staunch advocate, even though she did not openly identify as LGBTQ+. The Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ organization expressed its sorrow over Laura’s passing and commemorated her as a cherished friend and supporter who will be deeply missed.

As the investigation continues, authorities call upon anyone with information about the incident to come forward. The impact of Laura Ann Carleton’s life and tragic death is far-reaching, highlighting the ongoing struggle against hatred and violence aimed at marginalized communities. It is a stark reminder that the fight for equality, acceptance, and understanding is far from over.

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