Paul Feig shared a message after a friend was shot dead outside her clothing store in Cedar Glen, California.
According to police, 66-year-old Laura Ann Carlton, who was married with nine children, was killed after the gunman reportedly grappled with a large LGBT+ pride flag hanging outside her shop.
The suspected shooter, a 27-year-old man, was subsequently shot dead by police forces.
Feig, the director of 2016 ghostbusters and the hit comedy bridesmaidsHe shared a photo of himself and Carlton on Instagram and a written tribute.
“Our wonderful friend Lauri Carlton (pictured) was murdered yesterday at her @magpi_shop store in Lake Arrowhead by a 27-year-old man who disliked the fact that a large Pride flag hung outside her store,” he wrote .
“He ripped it off and when she confronted him about it, he shot her. We are all devastated for her husband Bort, her family and the LGBTQ+ community for which Lauri has been a true ally. Her alleged killer was later shot dead by San Bernardino police and as such no longer poses a threat to the community. But this intolerance must end.”
He continued, “Anyone using hateful language against the LGBTQ+ community must realize that their words matter and that their words can lead to violence against innocent, loving people.” Let’s all move forward with tolerance and love. Let’s not let Lauri’s tragic death go to waste.”
The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.
Police said in a statement that the suspect, a 27-year-old man, fled the scene on foot before authorities found him at a nearby location. After refusing to put down his pistol in a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies, the suspect was fatally shot.
“When officers attempted to contact the suspect, a fatal act ensued and the suspect was pronounced dead,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
“Through further investigation, investigators learned that the suspect had made several derogatory remarks about a rainbow flag that was outside the store before shooting Carleton.”
The murder was condemned by a local LGBT+ organization for the Lake Arrowhead area, where the Ceder Glen community is located.
LGBTQ group Lake Arrowhead shared a message on their Facebook page praising Carleton and her support for LGBT+ rights.
“Today was a very sad day for Lake Arrowhead and for the LGBTQ community,” they wrote. “Our friend and supporter Lauri Carleton…was murdered while defending her LGBTQ+ Pride flags in front of her store in Cedar Glen, California.
“Lauri did not identify as LGBTQ+ but spent her time helping and advocating for everyone in the community. We will really miss her.”
The murder was also addressed in a statement from San Bernardino County Superintendent Dawn Rowe, who said, “This senseless act of hatred and violence is unthinkable.”
“I stand with my mountain communities as we mourn this incredible loss. Everyone deserves to live free from hatred and discrimination and to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of expression. Lauri was a remarkable member of the community and I offer my deepest condolences to her family at this time of sadness.”