A man has been charged with a hate crime in the murder of a gay man in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Elliot Morales, 33, was "laughing on the ground" as police arrested him in the killing of Mark Carson, 32, officials say. "Yeah, I shot him in the head," Morales allegedly said. Carson and a friend were walking past Morales and his own friends when Morales said, "What are you, gay wrestlers?" police say. Carson and his friend kept walking, but Morales continued to harass them.
Eventually, Carson's friend addressed Morales, who asked if the two were together. Then he shot Carson in the cheek, authorities say. "The victim did nothing to antagonize or instigate the shooter. It was only done because the shooter believed him to be gay," says police commissioner Ray Kelly. Earlier, Morales was reportedly caught on video threatening bar staff, asking "Do you know what happened in Sandy Hook?" the New York Post reports. A rally in support of Carson is planned for this afternoon, GayStarNews notes.