So today we read in Joe.My.God. (and a big h/t to steveningen for suggesting this needed a diary) that a 32 year old gay man was shot dead on Greenwich St. in the West Village (Manhattan) by a Latino gunman shouting homophobic slurs. The New York Post reports that the gunman surrendered but that he gave a fake ID to the police, and that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly observed, after identifying this as a hate crime, that
There have been 22 bias attacks in the city so far this year, up from 13 at this point last year.
I don't want to say it's open season on gay men in Manhattan, but since this is the fourth hate crime against a gay man in the past few weeks and since the crimes have been escalating in violence, it's difficult not to conclude that.
A man was fatally shot in the West Village around midnight Friday and police were investigating the incident as a hate crime because the alleged gunman, who is in police custody, is said to have made anti-gay remarks right before firing his revolver.
Marc Carson, a 32-year-old resident of Harlem, was shot once in the face at West 8th Street and Sixth Avenue by the Gray's Papaya restaurant. He was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said they could not initially identify the suspect because he was carrying several fake IDs. By Saturday evening, the alleged gunman was still awaiting charges.
The commissioner said about 15 minutes before the shooting, the suspected gunman was urinating on the outside wall of a West Village bar. The suspect then walked into the bar, called the bartender anti-gay slurs and threatened him with a revolver.
The suspect left the bar, joined two other men outside, and then the three men confronted Carson, who was walking south on Sixth Avenue with another man.
Kelly said the alleged shooter called Carson and his companion anti-gay slurs several times, asked if they were "gay wrestlers" and then asked them, "Do you want to die here?"
According to the commissioner, the gunman allegedly asked Carson, "Are you with him?" and then shot the victim in the cheek after he answered, "Yes."
City Council president Christine Quinn, an out lesbian, had this to say:
“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."
The attack took place in front of Gray's Papaya, at the east end of Christopher Street, where it joins with 4th and Barrow Streets to form Sheridan Square. There's a 7th Avenue IRT stops here, and it's only a block or so from the Stonewall Inn. Not many more public spaces in that part of Manhattan for a murder to take place.
The comments at Joe.My.God mostly blame Bryan Fischer and the religious right for this. I don't think they have to go that far as long as Ruben Diaz Sr. is still representing parts of the Bronx. This has to stop.