Last night in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, a man was shot dead in what is being investigated as a possible anti-gay hate crime. The murder follows a string of anti-gay attacks in New York City in recent weeks and a rally against anti-gay violence held in the city Thursday evening.
NBC New York reports that the victim was walking along sixth avenue when a group of passersby made anti-gay remarks. There was no phsycial confrontation at that time. Later in the evening, the 32yo victim and one of the men in the aformented group again crossed paths. Police report that the suspect allegedly said the victim look like a ‘gay wrestler’ before shooting him in the head. The victim later died in hospital. The suspect was arrested at the scene.
According to the NY Post, the suspect hurled homophobic slurs just prior to shooting him. He allegedly asked the victim “do you want to die here?” before shooting him in the face. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Saturday said to reporters that “this is clearly a hate crime.” Saturday’s murder is the 5th reported incident of homphobic violence in NYC this month.
City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, expressed her dismay and disgust following this latest incident of anti-gay violence: “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.”
In response to the murder and recent wave of anti-gay assaults in NYC, the Anti-Violence Project will be holding a community safety night on Friday May 24th and each Friday through Pride Month. These sessions will aim to raise awareness about anti-gay violence in the city and discuss ways to counteract it. See the official press release here.
Anyone with further information is encouraged to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. Reports of anti-gay violence and abuse can also be made to the LGBT Anti-Violence Project which has a 24 hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline: 212 714 1141.