The Manhattan District Attorney's office announced Tuesday an indictment in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Mark Carson in Greenwich Village last month.
Police reported that Carson was shot by a suspect who made anti-gay comments to him. The fatal shooting was the most violent of several alleged hate crimes reported last month.
"This young man's tragic death serves as a reminder of the discrimination that many of our family members, coworkers and friends still face," said Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance. "Mr. Carson was murdered as he walked through a neighborhood that has long been a center of the gay rights movement and home to many LGBT New Yorkers."
"By instilling fear, hate crimes tear at the very fabric of our communities," Vance added.
The alleged shooter, Elliot Morales, is charged with one count of murder in the second degree as a hate crime, five counts of criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of menacing, including one count of menacing a police officer.
According to Vance, statements made on the record in court describing the May 17 incident indicate that after being chastised by a restaurant worker for urinating outside the restaurant, Morales confronted employees inside the restaurant, barking anti-gay comments, displaying a gun and threatening to shoot patrons in the restaurant.
Morales then allegedly left the establishment and ran into Carson walking with another male, and made further anti-gay comments to them.
He ran into them again shortly thereafter and again made anti-gay comments, before shooting Carson point-blank in the head, according to police.
Vance said an NYPD officer tracked Morales down a few blocks away and when confronted, Morales pointed his gun at the officer. When Morales fumbled, the officer seized the opportunity to tackle him and was able to wrest the gun away.
Morales is facing a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison for the most severe of the charges against him, murder as a hate crime.
Vance encouraged New Yorkers who experience or witness hate crimes to call his office's hotline at (212) 335-3100, provided it is not an emergency. If a crime is in progress, witnesses should call 911.
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