A man who Googled “how to get away with murder in real life” has pled guilty to hate crime after shooting a gay teenager in Kansas City, Missouri.
The 26-year-old man reportedly shot the teenager – who survived the attack – eight times after he made sexual advances towards him, according to BuzzFeed News.
The man, named Malachi Robinson, pled guilty to using the gun to wilfully injure the teenager because of his sexuality on 29 May 2019.
According to Robinson’s plea deal, he explained that he met the teen at a branch of the Kansas City Public Library; the teen then asked about Robinson’s sexual orientation and suggested that they meet up in the library bathroom.
BuzzFeed News reported that Robinson fled the scene after shooting the teen eight times, including three times in the chest, before making efforts to disguise himself by shaving off his hair. He allegedly also Googled “How to get away with murder in real life” and “How to know if the police are looking for you” after the incident.
The teenager spent approximately two weeks in hospital after the attack and continues to be treated for his injuries.
Robinson was arrested on 3 June 2019 and is expected to be sentenced on 15 December 2022.
Assistant attorney general Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s civil rights division said: “This attempted murder is a reminder that hate crimes against the LGBTQI+ community are real and must be confronted.
“Violent acts targeting people based on their sexual orientation are heinous crimes that have no place in our country.”
In the UK, it was reported that a “worrying” rise in hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people has taken place since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to last year’s figures, between January and August of 2021 at least 14,670 homophobic hate crimes were recorded in the UK. During the same period in 2020, there were 11,841, and the first six months of 2019 saw 10,817.
Stonewall’s associate director of policy and research, Eloise Stonborough, said in a statement: “LGBT+ people have struggled throughout the pandemic, with many not having access to vital support networks and spaces during lockdowns.
“It’s always worrying to see an increase in anti-LGBT+ hate crime, particularly at a time when our communities were more isolated than ever.”