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California: Santa Rosa shooting called possible anti-gay hate crime

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – A young man tossed out of a club for making anti-gay comments to patrons celebrating Pride pulled out a handgun and shot a bouncer outside the front door early Wednesday, police say.

The 23-year-old bouncer had escorted the long-haired Latino man, believed to be in his 20s, out of the Epic Social Lounge when the suspect shot him at close range in the stomach and fled, police say. The suspect is still on the loose, and anyone with information is asked to call police at 707-543-3590.

Epic Social Lounge used its Facebook page to update its followers on what happened, calling the incident “a hideous hate crime.”

“We stand strong and continue to support the Gay Community and have a zero tolerance on violence. Please help us capture this individual so that justice can be served and be a part of our continued movement to promote equality for all,” the lounge said on its Facebook page.

Police Sgt. David Linscomb told the local media that it was too early in the investigation to label the incident an anti-gay hate crime, but he did acknowledge that witnesses spoke of the suspect’s derogatory comments against gays and lesbians.

The bouncer underwent surgery and is expected to survive, authorities say.