X suspends account of shooter in the Pride flag dispute shortly after saying he did not break safety policies

Social media platform X suspended the account of Lake Arrowhead shooter Travis Ikeguchi two full days after he was identified by authorities as the person who killed shop owner Laura Ann Carleton in a dispute over her Pride flag.

The suspension came after the social media platform — formerly known as Twitter — claimed previously that the account “hasn’t broken our safety policies” in response to a user who had reported Ikeguchi.

But on Wednesday, Ikeguchi’s account, which had featured a pinned tweet of a burning Pride flag and had for years included homophobic slurs, was suspended and none of his tweets could be viewed. The suspension was first reported by CNN Business. X did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ikeguchi, 27, screamed homophobic slurs at Carleton on Friday during an argument the two had at her store, Mag.Pi, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

The heated argument then turned violent, and Ikeguchi fatally shot Carleton, 66, before running away, officials said. He was shot by sheriff’s deputies later that Friday after he opened fire on them, according to authorities.

His social media presence was heavily scrutinized after law enforcement identified him as the shooter on Monday. Ikeguchi had posted homophobic tweets on X for years before the shooting.

His pinned tweet showed the Pride flag ablaze along with the question, “What to do with the LGBTQP flag?”

Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law Cyberlaw Clinic, said she reported Ikeguchi’s account but that X declined to initially remove the account, saying its safety policies had not been violated.

But X’s safety policies explicitly bar content that attacks people based on sexual orientation, among other categories.

Ikeguchi’s profile on Gab, another social media site, was also suspended as of Thursday. Ikeguchi regularly used Gab until last Friday, the day authorities say he shot Carleton.

“America must repent for a lot of things we allow; abortion/baby killing, sexual immortality, pornography, same-sex marriages, LGBTQP/pedophilia, freemasonry, religiosity, politics, wars, colonialism, the federal reserve,” a post from Friday read.

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