NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have questioned and released two men who were with a suspect who allegedly shot and killed a man in Greenwich Village this weekend – all because he was gay.
Marc Carson, 32, was shot and killed early Saturday at Sixth Avenue and 8th Street. He was with a companion when the gunman and two others passed, and the gunman said, ‘Look at these f***ots. What are you, gay wrestlers?’” police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Saturday. The gunman then shot Carson in the face, and he was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital.
Elliot Morales, 33, was captured a short time later at 3rd and MacDougal streets on the edge of the NYU campus. He has been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon.
The other two men who were with the gunman have been released, Kelly said.
“The two individuals who were with the shooter – they have been questioned and they have been released,” Kelly said Sunday. “They’re cooperating. They’re telling investigators what they know of the events.”
Police also have searched the gunman’s residence, Kelly said.
“The shooter was living in a house in Rockaway with one of these individuals – he was temporarily there – and he said that there was a gun that he brought to the house – a rifle, so that has been confiscated,” the commissioner said Sunday.
Kelly said the gunman first urinated on the street outside a bar, then walked into the bar. The man proceeded to make anti-gay remarks to the bartender, the commissioner said.
“He then says to both the bartender and the manager that if you do call the police, I’ll shoot you, and he opens up what is a gray hoodie, and shows what appears to be a shoulder holster carrying this revolver,” Kelly said.
Kelly then said the gunman, along with two others, came up to Carson and his companion outside. That was when the deadly attack happened.
The incident comes on the heels of a series of bias attacks on gay men – although this is the first that left a man dead.
Two of those attacks occurred in Midtown; one of them took place on Christopher Street — not far from the Saturday morning incident.
In the first incident on May 5, Nick Porto and his partner, Kevin Atkins, were beaten near Madison Square Garden after a group of men wearing Knicks shirts called them anti-gay slurs.
In the second early on May 10, two men tried to get into an after-hours billiards hall on West 32nd Street but were not let in, police said. They were then approached by a group of approximately five others who proceeded to shout anti-gay slurs and beat the men, police said.
Kelly said Sunday that the number of bias attacks is up this year – and the number of anti-gay bias attacks in particular.
“There is an uptick, certainly, in reported bias attacks. There are certain crimes; certain events that we always assume are underreported. But clearly, we have an increase in reports of anti-gay bias attacks. There were about 13 up until this time last year. Now we have 22,” he said.
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