Greenwich Village is known to New Yorkers as one of the city’s most gay-friendly areas, but on Saturday night it was apparently home to one man shooting and killing another because of his sexual orientation.
Marc Carson, 32, and his companion were walking together on Saturday night when 33-year-old Elliot Morales reportedly confronted the couple by shouting anti-gay remarks. According to bystanders, Morales asked the two if they were a couple and Carson answered affirmatively. Morales, at that point, is said to have asked, “Do you want to die here?” He then allegedly pulled out a revolver and fatally shot Carson in the head.
Morales fled the scene, but was caught by police later near the New York University campus. Though he was carrying fake identification, police were able to identify Morales through the facial recognition system because of a previous crime, attempted murder, back in 1998.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and other prominent figures in the community are denouncing the attack as a “hate crime,” as Morales made his motive very clear before he shot Carson.
According to police reports, Morales was seen prior to the bloodshed urinating on the wall of an upscale restaurant, and then he allegedly entered the restaurant and threatened a bartender and manager he would shoot them if they called the police.
Minutes later, Morales and two other men approached Carson and his companion on the street, which was when Carson was murdered point-blank.
Christine Quinn, the New York City Council speaker currently running to become the city’s first openly gay mayor, lamented the crime as a reminder of a time when this type of violence and harassment occurred every day towards gay people.
"We refuse to go back to that time," said Quinn. “This kind of shocking and senseless violence, so deeply rooted in hate, has no place in a city whose greatest strength will always be its diversity."