Suspect Killed By Responding San Bernardino Sheriff Department Deputies
By: Benny Cartwright, Community Editor
Lauri Rosenthal Carleton, owner of fashion boutique Mag.Pi in Cedar Glen, Calif., was murdered Friday night, according to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. Those close to Carleton say the gunman shot her over a dispute about an LGBTQ pride flag hung outside her shop.
An ally to the LGBTQ community, Carleton was killed outside of the Mag.Pi boutique in Cedar Glen, located about 2 miles from Lake Arrowhead, Calif. According to an initial report by the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, Carleton was shot by the male suspect who arrived at her store and erratically removed the pride flag she had hung outside of her shop to express her support for the LGBTQ community.
Carleton was said to have confronted the male after he removed the flag, who then shot her multiple times before fleeing. Carleton was pronounced dead from the gunshot injuries on the scene by emergency medical personnel.
The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, was shot and killed by San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department deputies. The Sheriff’s report says the suspect, who fled the scene on foot, was seen about a mile from the shop, armed with a gun.
When deputies attempted to contact the suspect, a lethal force encounter occurred and the suspect was pronounced deceased. No deputies were injured during the incident.
Many in the Cedar Glen community and beyond are mourning Carleton’s death, including leaders of the Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ organization who released the following statement on social media late Friday night:
“Today was a very sad day for Lake Arrowhead and for the LGBTQ community. Our friend and supporter Lauri Carleton @magpi_shop was murdered defending her lgbtq+ Pride flags in front of her store in Cedar Glen California. Lauri did not identify as LGBTQ+, but spent her time helping & advocating for everyone in the community. She will be truly missed. From what we understand the suspect is no longer a threat.”
LGBTQ San Diego County News has reached out to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for additional information but was only provided with basic details about the incident at this time. Department officials have shared that this was an isolated incident, not an active shooter event, and there is no further threat.
Carleton has worked in the fashion industry since her teens, including for many top fashion houses such as Fred Segal Feet, Joseph Magnin Century City, and Kenneth Cole. Her Mag.Pi boutique, with locations in both Studio City, Los Angeles and Cedar Glen, sells a variety of “thoughtfully sourced” home, bath, and fashion products and accessories.
Living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Studio City for over 30 years, Carleton and her husband first restored a 1920s era Fisherman Cabin in Lake Arrowhead – their favorite getaway. Carleton’s family has deep roots in Lake Arrowhead, with her grandparents first taking up residence there in the 1940s. Carleton grew up spending an extensive amount of time there with her grandparents who had built a family lodge in the mountain town.
“She loved experiencing the magic of a place so different from, yet so close to, her home of Los Angeles,” reads an article in Apartment Therapy. “The beautiful pines, the Alpine lake, the hidden swimming and fishing holes, and most of all the mild four seasons are just 90 minutes away.”
Many community members and friends have expressed their grief and shock over Carleton’s murder.
“She wasn’t even gay – she was flying the flag in support of people like me,” said Palm Springs resident Benjamin Leaskou. “I am in complete shock. Lauri, we love you!”
Michele Casella Collier, a resident of Cedar Glen, said she heard two shots Friday afternoon while out on her deck. First thinking it might be a car backfiring, she said she saw helicopters circling around minutes later and saw Sheriff’s vehicles in the distance and then realized the incident was more serious and found out what had transpired.
I’m praying for my little town and our mountain, where no one should be afraid,” said Casella Collier.
Frequent visitor to Lake Arrowhead and Los Angeles resident Andrew Ferrara said he is “sickened, shooken and saddened by these events which will forever change everything.” Ferrara encouraged everyone to hug those they love because anytime could be the last time. “I am sick to my stomach,” said Ferrara. “Regardless, we exist, and will never hide our authentic selves. Rest in power, Lauri.”
Carleton is survived by her husband Bort Carleton, their children Kesley and Ari, and numerous beloved pets. Funeral arrangements are currently being made by the family and will be shared at a later date.
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