Laura Carleton Shot and Killed in California Over Pride Flag Hanging Outside Her Store

Laura Carleton, the owner of two Mag.Pi clothing stores in Southern California was shot and killed by an unidentified suspect who was triggered by the Pride flag that was hanging outside of her shop in Lake Arrowhead, CA. She was a local legend and a proud supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

According to the police report, the tragic incident occurred at around 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 18 at Laura’s Mag.PI store located on Hook Creek Road in Cedar Glen, CA. First responders were quick to the scene but when they arrived, they discovered Carleton on the floor with a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The suspect fled on foot after shooting Laura, who affectionately goes by Laurie. Following a pursuit, authorities located the suspect roughly one mile away. According to reports, after making contact with the suspect, an alleged ‘lethal force encounter’ occurred and the suspect was eventually pronounced dead by police officers. 

“The Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail also responded and assumed the investigation. Through further investigation, detectives learned the suspect made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton,” the report added. 

Laura Carleton is survived by her husband of 28 years and their nine children. They’ve lived in the same Studio City home for 30 years and also owned a ‘getaway’ cabin in Lake Arrowhead. Her two Mag.Pi stores are mainstays in the Studio City and Lake Arrowhead communities.

She attended the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked at Joseph Magnin Century City before joining Kenneth Cole – where she worked as an executive for more than 15 years and is credited with ‘building highly successful businesses’ and ‘working with factories and design teams.’ 

“Mag.Pi for Lauri is all about tackling everyday life with grace and ease and continuing to dream,” her About Page reads. Along with her husband, Carleton enjoyed living a ‘simpler lifestyle with family, friends, and animals at the lake.’ Her death is a devastating loss to her community and the fashion world at large.

After news of her tragic passing went viral, friends and colleagues of Laura Carleton took to social media to pay tribute and honor a life that was taken from us far too soon. She was commended for her prowess in the fashion industry, but also her unconditional love and support for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

The Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ organization took to Facebook to honor her for taking the time to help and advocate for everyone in the LGBTQ community, despite not identifying as a member of the community. “Our friend and supporter Lauri Carleton @magpi_shop was murdered defending her lgbtq+ Pride flags.”

Meanwhile, the Mountain Provisions Cooperative commended her for fighting for equality, love, and justice. “If you knew Lauri you know she loved hard, laughed often, and nurtured and protected those she cared about. She was a force, she loved to crack jokes and wanted to live as joyful of a life as possible.”

Paul Fieg, a famous film director and actor, wrote on Twitter: “Lauri Carleton was my friend. She was a wonderful person who did so much for the LGBTQ+ community as well as the community at large. What happened to her is an absolute tragedy. If people don’t think anti-gay & trans rhetoric isn’t dangerous, think again.”