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Man opens fire on group of gay men for dressing up as women (video)

By Mason White 3:43 PM October 29, 2014
Men dressed as women illustration 

By: Mahesh Sarin
(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested on charges of attempted murder after firing shots at a group of gay men because they dressed up as women, prosecutors in New York said.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said that a Bushwick man has been charged in a 13-count indictment with second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime and other charges stemming from an incident last month, in which he and two others taunted three men with anti-gay slurs before the defendant allegedly fired six shots at them, striking one of the men in the behind.

The defendant in the shooting incident was identified as Matthew Smith, 20, of 1114 Putnam Avenue. He is expected to be arraigned on Thursday, on a 13-count indictment in which he is charged with three counts of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, three counts of second-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree assault as a hate crime, one count of first-degree assault, two counts of attempted first-degree assault as a hate crime, two counts of first-degree attempted assault, and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

If convicted of the top count, he faces up to 25 years in prison. Smith is being held without bail.

According to the police investigation, three gay men, who were dressed in women’s clothing, were walking on the street when the defendant, Matthew Smith, and his two co-defendants, Tavon Johnson and Cody Sigue, who were standing on a corner across the street, allegedly began shouting taunts at them, including: “Y’all f*****s, trannies, men dressed like women, drag queens.”

The victims began walking away from the area, and the defendants followed them for a block. At that point, the victims started walking rapidly to get away from the defendants, but were allegedly followed even after they rounded a corner.

Smith then took out a handgun and fired six shots at the three, striking one man in the behind. Johnson and Sigue were arrested shortly thereafter, and Smith was arrested later that day.

Johnson, 17, of 113 Tompkins Avenue, and Sigue, 22, of 1180 Putnam Avenue, are charged in a criminal complaint with third-degree menacing as a hate crime, second-degree aggravated harassment, third-degree menacing and second-degree harassment.

They were arraigned and released without bail. If convicted on the top count, they face up to one year in prison.