'Anti-gay' shooting fatality stuns NYC
NEW YORK — A gunman used homophobic slurs before firing a fatal shot point-blank into a man's face on a Manhattan street alive with a weekend midnight crowd, a killing New York's police commissioner called an “anti-gay” hate crime.
Before opening fire early Saturday, the gunman confronted the victim and his companion in Greenwich Village and asked if they “want to die here,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The violence follows a series of recent bias attacks on gay men in New York, but this was the first deadly one.
At a news conference, Kelly described the events leading to the violence that erupted in a lively social scene a few blocks from Washington Square Park and New York University:
Late Friday night, about 15 minutes before the shooting, the gunman was seen urinating on a street outside a bar blocks from the Stonewall Inn, a birthplace of the gay rights movement.
He then entered, asking the bartender whether he would call the police after having seen what is normally an act warranting only a summons.
He told both the bartender and the manager, “if you do call the police, I'll shoot you.” The man then opened his gray hooded sweatshirt to reveal a shoulder holster with a revolver.
The silver gun was used minutes later in the killing, the commissioner said.
While in the bar, the gunman also made anti-gay remarks, Kelly said.
“This fully looks to be a hate crime, a bias crime,” Kelly concluded.
Police identified the victim as Harlem resident Marc Carson.
Kelly said authorities did not immediately know the name of the suspect because he was using a false identity. The weapon believed used in the shooting — a Taurus .38-caliber six-shot revolver — was recovered.