From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.
Mayor Vincent Gray and Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced Monday the arrest of a suspect in the March 11 shooting at the Columbia Heights IHOP. LaShawn Carson, a 27-year-old woman, has been charged with aggravated assault while armed.
“I am pleased and relieved to announce that a suspect in this dastardly crime has been arrested,” Gray said in a statement.
The incident, which has been labeled an anti-gay hate crime under DC law, sparked a public outcry by community leaders and advocates, occurring in a series of of violence perpetrated on LGBT individuals.
In addition to the IHOP incident a gay man was badly beaten a few days later at the corner of Irving Street and Georgia Avenue NW, suffering serious injuries to his face and jaw.
On Tuesday, March 20, in an effort to raise awareness about violence towards the LGBT community, more than 500 people gathered at the IHOP at 14th and Irving Streets NW to march silently from Columbia Heights to Dupont Circle, passing the site of the assault at Irving and Georgia. The march was organized on Facebook by friends of the victims, Silent March for Victims of GLBT Violence.
The victim of the March 11 attack, who was hospitalized for a gunshot wound to his liver, is out of the hospital. The man who was robbed and beaten at Irving and Georgia Avenue NW has also been released from hospital.