US man charged with triple murder targeting LGBT victims

Marchers wave Gay Pride flag during the 2018 San Francisco Pride Parade on June 24, 2018 in San Francisco, CaliforniaImage copyright
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A US man charged with fatally shooting three people and wounding two others targeted his victims because they were gay or transgender, prosecutors said.

Devon Robinson, 19, of Detroit, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of assault and related weapons charges.

The victims, all from Detroit, included Alunte Davis, 21, Paris Cameron, 20, and Timothy Blancher, 20.

In court on Friday, Mr Robinson pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In a statement to US media, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy decried the “disturbing” allegations against Mr Robinson.

“The fact that this happened during Pride Month adds salt into the wound,” she said. “We must remain ever vigilant in our fight to eradicate hate.”

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Police said the shooting occurred over the Memorial Day weekend in a home in Detroit’s east side.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Mr Davis and Mr Blancher were gay men, and Ms Cameron was transgender, US media said.

Prosecutors said the victim’s were targeted by Mr Robinson because of their sexuality, though he has not been specifically charged with a hate crime.

Two others were shot but survived.

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Mr Davis’ sister Dasha Robinson told local TV station WJBK-TV her brother was “full of life”, reported the Associated Press.

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According to the most recent data from the FBI, almost 16% of recorded hate crimes in the US were related to the victim’s sexual orientation. Another 1.7% were related to gender identity.

Mr Robinson has been remanded to jail. He expected in court on 21 June.