Mark Carson did not hide that he was gay, and when he went out on the town he would often head to Greenwich Village, where years before he was born, much of the struggle for gay liberation unfolded. Yet late Friday night, just blocks from the Stonewall Inn, among the most important landmarks of that struggle, he was confronted with a man screaming antigay slurs, who then stalked him before pulling out a silver revolver and fatally shooting him, the police said.
“This clearly looks to be a hate crime,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at a news conference on Saturday.
YA THINK ???
Mr. Kelly described a chaotic scene that involved a man seemingly out looking for trouble when he crossed paths with Mr. Carson and ended up shooting him in the face. The violence was quickly followed by a police chase and an arrest on the corner of West Third and Macdougal Streets as scores of bar hoppers looked on in shock.
Mr. Kelly said there had been a rise in bias-related crimes in New York City this year — 22 compared with 13 during the same period last year. In just the past three weeks, there have been five attacks directed at gay men, including a vicious assault on a gay couple outside Madison Square Garden on May 5.
Timothy Lunceford, 56, who has lived in the West Village for 35 years, said he believed the killing was a brazen display of a kind of intolerance he had not known in New York for decades. “It’s outrageous,” he said. “They say we’ve worked through homophobia, but it’s not gone away. It’s just not usually as out there in the open like it was this morning.”
Indeed. Who we are, and where we live is now targeted. Homophobia is indeed dying. But as we all know a wounded predator is far more dangerous than an unscathed one.
Mr. Carson, who was 32, had recently moved from Harlem to Brooklyn after scrimping and saving money from his job at a yogurt shop in Midtown, according to Kay Allen, a friend for more than a decade.
“He was a proud gay man,” Ms. Allen said. “A fabulous gay man.” She noted that he loved going to the Village.
“His spirit was too big for this city,” she said. “He didn’t have a negative bone in his body.”
OVer the past 20 to 30 years the West Village has become a haven for black LGBTs from other areas in the city. We were always there to one degree r another, but not as much as over the past few decades. Te predominantly white LGBT’s have gone on to Chelsea and more recently Hell’s Kitchen. The fact that these areas are widely regarded as “THE” Gayborhoods speaks for itself. The West Village I as gay as it ever was. it’s simply blacker than its ever been.
And now African-Americans — widely perceived as Primary “Perps” are the primary victims.
Can y’all deal with that?
Elected officials and other civic leaders were quick to condemn the killing.
“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,” said Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, whose district includes the Village and who hopes to become the city’s first openly gay mayor. “We refuse to go back to that time.”
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
How about putting more police on patrol, hunh?
Detectives were still trying to identify the suspect, an effort complicated because he was carrying several fake IDs at the time of his arrest, the police said.
According to Mr. Kelly, the gunman was in the neighborhood with two other men shortly before midnight when he urinated in front of the Annisa bar and restaurant on Barrow Street at West Fourth Street.
The man then went inside and angrily confronted the bartender with antigay slurs, the police said. He pulled up his gray hooded sweatshirt, and revealed a silver revolver in a shoulder holster. He told the bartender that if he called the police, he would be killed, the police said.
The man then left the bar. He and his two companions were walking south on the Avenue of the Americas when they ran into Mr. Carson and another man at West Eighth Street, the police said. A confrontation ensued.
“There were no words that would aggravate the situation spoken by the victims here,” Mr. Kelly said. According to the police, the gunman once again used antigay slurs, and at one point asked, “What are you, a gay wrestler?”
An interesting turn-of-slur. Wrestling has just been eliminated from Olympic competition.
Probably because it’s “Too Gay.”
Raquan Johnson, 22, was in a pizza shop on the Avenue of the Americas and watched as the argument escalated.
He said that Mr. Carson’s friend shouted back at the suspect: “Oh yeah? Well, what do you look like?”
After a few minutes, Mr. Carson and his friend continued on their way, assuming the exchange was over. The two men walked along West Eighth Street, but the gunman apparently did not want to let the matter drop. One of the gunman’s companions tried to talk him out of following Mr. Carson, according to the police. That companion left, the police said.
The gunman caught up with Mr. Carson outside of a building at 60 West Eighth Street, and began shouting at him. “Do you want to die here?” he asked Mr. Carson, according to Mr. Kelly, before pulling out the revolver and shooting Mr. Carson once in the cheek.
“I didn’t think nothing of it, it was just an argument,” Mr. Johnson said. “Then a minute later I hear boom! I ran to the corner and I see him lying there dead.”
Mr. Carson was taken to Beth Israel Medical Center and pronounced dead on arrival
After shooting Mr. Carson, the gunman fled, trying to disappear in the crowds that filled the streets.
A police cruiser on a nearby corner took off in pursuit and a call went out over the police radio describing the gunman. Police Officer Henry Huot, who was on foot patrol, matched the suspect to the description, chased him down and arrested him. The suspect was carrying a silver Taurus .38-caliber 6-shot revolver that was used in the killing, the police said. Gary Rookard, 54, a shop clerk on West Third Street near Macdougal, said the streets were flooded with uniformed officers.
“It was pretty hairy,” he said. “The cops were all bunched up and they were running, and there were a lot of people looking. There was a lot of confusion.”
Mr. Rookard said that despite the neighborhood’s hefty real estate prices and fancy boutiques, there is still a rough element that descends on the weekends.
“We get a lot of fistfights, we get brawls in the street,” he said. “But hardly ever shootings.”
Relatives and friends gathered at the Harlem apartment of Mr. Carson’s mother, saying they wished to mourn in private.
In Greenwich Village, Takis Kouvatseas, 47, lit two white candles behind a bouquet of lilacs at an improvised memorial at the scene of the shooting.
“Somebody took his life because he’s himself,” Mr. Kouvatseas said.
Precisely Mr. Kouvatseas.
Here’s the Perp.
Police later identified the suspect as Elliot Morales, 33. Police said the suspect had forged identification and they used facial recognition technology to determine his true identity.
Morales faces a charge of second-degree murder as a hate crime, authorities said.
The identities of the suspect’s two companions — at least one of whom Kelly said left the suspect before the shooting — are still not known.
Kelly said that the killing appeared to be “a hate crime, a bias crime.” There were no words that would aggravate the situation, and the victim did not know the perpetrator, he said.
According to Kelly, there have been 22 bias-motivated events this year. That’s up “significantly” from 13 this time last year.
On May 10, five men brutally beat two gay men near Madison Square Garden after the couple was denied entry into an after-hours billiards bar, according to Port Authority Police. The victims suffered severe facial injuries. Police were able to arrest two of the five men; the rest fled the scene.
There was another attack on gay men on May 5, outside of Madison Square Garden following a New York Knicks game. One of the victims told CNN affiliate WCBS he believes the attack wasn’t an isolated incident.
“There is no words to describe the pain, ’cause this was not an attack on us, this was an attack on all of us,” he said.
Kelly said authorities do not believe the acts are connected, but the investigations are ongoing.
“It’s not a pattern,” he said, “but something that concerns us.”
Mother Horne will sing us out