A gay man in Decatur, Georgia, was shot and killed in a crime police suspect was hate-motivated, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Twenty-eight-year-old Ronald “Trey” Peters was on his way to work last Thursday, June 6, when an armed robber approached him and demanded his bag. Witnesses told police that the gunman used a gay slur to refer to Peters—and ultimately shot the man multiple times before driving off in a van with an accomplice. Peters was taken to nearby hospital and later pronounced dead.
After DeKalb County police classified the shooting of Ronald Trey Peters as hate motivated, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement condemning the crime.
Peters, 28, was shot multiple times Tuesday morning in Decatur while… https://t.co/OKCyhkXxks
— DeKalb County News (@DeKalbNewsNow) June 7, 2019
In the official DeKalb County Police Department record, authorities marked the fatal shooting as a “hate-motivated” incident, likely due to witnesses’ recollections. Peters’ partner, who was unnamed in the police report, recalled an incident of homophobic harassment on the street a few weeks prior to Peters’ death. The victim’s partner reportedly “didn’t think anything of it” and never asked for more details.
The gunman is still at large, and police are investigating Peters’ death as a homicide.
Peters is remembered by his friends, loved ones, and fellow Decatur community members, one of whom created a GoFundMe to raise money for his funeral expenses. As of this story’s publication, the GoFundMe has surpassed its $3,000 goal by more than $1,000.
Heather Olsen, a friend of Peters who knew him for more than 15 years, said he was “the best person I’ve ever met in my entire life.”
“Even when he was going through trials in his life, he would carve out time for everyone else,” Olsen told the AJC.
Notably, Peters is one of at least three LGBTQ Americans to lose his life in an act of anti-LGBTQ violence this June alone. On June 4, NewNowNext reported the death of Chynal Lindsey, a black trans woman from Dallas. Twenty-three-year-old Chanel Scurlock of Lumber Bridge, North Carolina, also a black trans woman, lost her life that same week.