Attackers robbed, shot and killed gay Atlanta man Ronald “Trey” Peters on the morning of June 4 after shouting homophobic slurs at him.
Peters, 28, was walking home from an Atlanta train station on the MARTA transit system, when he was approached by two men in a car who demanded he give them his backpack, according to Georgia Voice.
Witness Kevin Pickering Pickering called emergency services and stayed with Peters until they arrived.
Pickering reportedly said: “The driver got out with a louder voice yelling, ‘Give him the f***ing bag, f*g.’ The passenger walked back toward the vehicle and the driver got out and started firing.”
Peters was shot multiple times and Atlanta police are treating the incident as a hate crime, according to AJC, however, Georgia is one of only four US states which does not have hate crime laws allowing for steeper penalties for hate-motivated crimes.
Trey Peters was killed in a hate crime at the beginning of Pride month. (Ronald Trey Peters/ Facebook)
Member of the Atlanta LGBT+ community Bill Kaelin posted on Facebook: “We lost one of our own from our community this week. Trey was gunned down while taking MARTA while the scums called him homophobic slurs.
“This is a sad reminder as pride month begins that hate is still alive and well against the LGBTQ community.”
Allison Padilla-Goodman, regional director of leading anti-hate organisation The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said in a press release: “Unfortunately, this deadly attack is not a rare or isolated event. Rather, this is the latest in a long string of hate-motivated incidents.”
“Our hearts go out to the family of Ronald Peters. We are praying for his family and his partner, Titus Davis, during a month where we should be celebrating the LGBTQ community, not mourning it,” said Padilla-Goodman.”
She continued: “We call on our elected officials and candidates for office from both sides of the aisle to speak up and to denounce hatred of any group.
“It is time to show all Georgians and the nation that we take people’s identities seriously and protect them. We will not allow bias and bigotry to reign free, and we believe that everyone should be who they are without fear of violence.”