Brooklyn Drag Queen Shot in New York LGBT Hate Crime, Suspects Arraigned

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Three suspects have been arraigned in connection to an LGBT hate crime that happened in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, on early Sunday morning, according to the King’s County Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

Matthew Smith, 21, Tavon Johnson, 17, and Cody Sigue, 22, have been accused of following three drag queens and shouting homophobic slurs at them, including “y’all faggots” and “tranny.” When the group tried to flee, according to court documents released to Buzzfeed, Smith opened fire, hitting a 22-year-old male, who has not been identified, in the buttocks. The victim was taken to Brookdale University Hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The Anti-Violence Project (AVP), based in New York, has reported that they don’t believe the victim identifies as transgender but that she was targeted because of her feminine clothing.

NYPD captured the suspects shortly after the attack and later found six .40-caliber gun casings from the scene of the crime.

The three suspects were arraigned on Sunday and Buzzfeed has reported that “Johnson and Sigue face charges such as menacing and aggravated harassment with hate crime distinctions. Smith (the shooter) faces additional charges such as assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and attempted murder in the second degree along with hate crime charges.”

The suspects are set to appear in court this week and next.

If you, or somebody you know, may be at risk of being the victim of a hate crime, please take a minute to read and share AVP’s hate and police violence safety tips. Stay safe out there!