Travis Ikeguchi, the man who fatally shot a Californian mother over a Pride flag displayed at her store, was the son of a police officer.
About the shooting: Ikeguchi, 27, made “several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag” before fatally shooting Laura Ann Carleton, 66, outside Mag.Pi clothing store in Cedar Glen in Lake Arrowhead, California, on Friday, according to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office.
Police responded to the incident at around 5 p.m., where Carleton was pronounced dead at the scene. Ikeguchi, who fled the scene on foot, was later located and killed during “a lethal force encounter” with deputies.
The killer’s last moments recounted: Ikeguchi appeared to have “flinched” in the moment before he fired his gun, according to an acquaintance of Carleton who reviewed the store’s closed-circuit video of the shooting.
“He then almost flinched as if thinking twice but then went for it, grabbed the gun and then aimed it and shot Lauri,” the acquaintance told the Los Angeles Times. “That caused her to fall back onto the floor, and then the door swung closed, and then he shot one shot through that door and then took off.”
Ikeguchi’s social media: Ikeguchi had been publicly vocal about his disapproval of the LGBTQ+ community. On his X account, which has now been suspended, Ikeguchi previously made several posts regarding his hate toward the LGBTQ+ community and law enforcement.
“Abortion and same-sex marriage are both immoral and are design to destroy humanity one by one. So if someone is pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQP, they are at war against the foundation of family values,” one of his posts read.
In his previously pinned post, Ikeguchi posted a photo of a burning Pride flag with the caption, “What to do with the [LGBTQ+] flag?” He had also retweeted a post comparing Nazi children with swastika flags to schoolchildren with Pride flags.
Ikeguchi, who had fallen into the chasm of social media conspiracy theories and hate-fueled rhetoric online, had also posted paranoid messages about police officers, according to Independent.
“DO NOT TRUST COPS,” he wrote on X on June 27. “Do not follow their traps they want to know everything about you to catch you and used against you in court and lie about you. Watch out their sociopathic schemes.”
“I know it’s controversial for me to mention the option to kill a police officer, but these police officers are not the servants for the people, they are the servants for the laws,” Ikeguchi also wrote on the social media platform Gab in 2021.
Ikeguchi’s family background: The posts are believed to be related to his hatred toward his parents’ divorce, more specifically his 63-year-old father, David Jay Ikeguchi.
David is reportedly a 35-year veteran state trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol who had reached the level of “master trooper,” according to court filings. David and the suspect’s mother, Janet Ikeguchi, divorced in 2018 due to “irreconcilable differences.”
According to David’s LinkedIn profile, he received “instructor certificates in patrol rifle and active shooter training as well as Glock and AR15 armorer.” He was also awarded the department’s Silver Star award after he saved a driver from a burning vehicle in Lake County while off-duty in 2020.
Ikeguchi’s claims against his father: While divorce records show that David was ordered to pay $1,800 per month in spousal support, Ikeguchi claimed that he and his mother were living in their car and struggling to buy food after the divorce. In January 2019, Ikeguchi set up a GoFundme page asking for donations, claiming that his father was using his law enforcement position to “withhold money” and “leave us penniless.”
“I don’t have a home and I don’t have enough money for a place to stay and eat,” he reportedly wrote on GoFundMe. “Nobody in my family is going to help me on this; they are selfish and greedy when it comes to helping out with others, especially me. And the sad part of it is that all them work for the government.”
According to Janet, Ikeguchi had to use his college money to support her while they resided in his sister’s home in California. However, Ikeguchi’s sister had eventually asked them to leave.
Ikeguchi filed for a name change in San Bernardino County to be renamed to Timothy Thomas Yokohama, which was granted in 2021, according to filings. “Taking the name of my ancestry,” he listed as his reason for the name change.
The investigation into the shooting remains ongoing.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.