WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Police have arrested LaShawn Carson in connection with the shooting of a gay man at an IHOP restaurant in Columbia Heights. Authorities have labeled the shooting as an anti-gay hate crime.
Carson has been charged with aggravated assault while armed. She is being held without bond.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Mayor Vincent Gray announced the arrest Monday afternoon, saying it was Carson who fired the shot inside the establishment.
Authorities say the suspect directed epithets at the victim prior to the shooting. However, authorities cannot say definitively say the shooting occurred because of the victim’s sexuality.
“This is a horrendous hate crime that singled out somebody on the basis of a perception — that’s what always this is, a perception — they belonged to a particular group,” said councilmember Jim Graham.
There is no specific hate crime charge police can file against Carson. That distinction is weighed if a trial advances to the sentencing period.
Carson has a preliminary hearing set for Thursday at 9 a.m.