Over the past month NYC has had a dramatic rise in anti-gay hate crimes with last night being the most horrific one yet to date.
An unidentified 32-year-old gay man from Brooklyn was shot in the head at about midnight at West 8th Street and Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village after being chased out of a restaurant bt his attacker who was shouting homophobic slurs before he fired.
The gunman ran five blocks before cops cornered him at West Third Street and MacDougal Street, according to police radio transmissions where he was arrested and confessed to the shooting.
The victim was taken to Beth Israel Hospital where he passed away shortly after arrival.
City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said she was horrified by the attack.
“There was a time in New York City when hate crimes were a common occurrence. There was a time in New York City when two people of the same gender could not walk down the street arm-in-arm without fear of violence and harassment. We refuse to go back to that time.”
Just 48 hours earlier hundreds of LGBT New Yorkers gathered outside Madison Square Garden in protest of the ongoing spree of violent anti-gay hate crimes.
Law enforcement sources say the victim, who lived in Brooklyn, was walking with a friend along Sixth Avenue at about midnight when a group that included the suspect, made anti-gay remarks. A short time later, the suspect and the victim crossed paths again. Then, the suspect allegedly pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and shot the victim once in the head. The gunman ran five blocks before cops captured him at West Third Street and MacDougal Street, on the edge of the NYU campus. The busy and well-traveled intersection of 8th Street, Sixth Avenue and Greenwich Avenue is just a few blocks from Washington Square Park. The suspect had a fake ID on him when he was taken into custody.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the shooting took place shortly after midnight at West 4th Street and Barrow Street and it is classified as a hate crime. Kelly said the suspected gunman was caught urinating on the outside wall of a West Village bar, and then he walked into the bar and threatened the bartender with a silver pistol. The suspect then left the bar with two other men, and the trio confronted the victim and a male companion walking down the street. The alleged shooter called the victim and companion anti-gay slurs and asked if they were “gay wrestlers,” according to Kelly. After the victim was shot once, the suspect fled to MacDougal Street and West 3rd Street, where Kelly said the alleged gunman dropped his weapon and was caught by police.