Suspect charged with hate crime in Sylmar shooting
A man has been charged with a hate crime after the slaying of a homeless person this month in Sylmar, authorities said.
Eric Antonio Sanchez, 29, was charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder with a hate crime allegation in the death of Ryan Bush, 48, the L.A. County district attorney’s office announced in a news release on Wednesday. Prosecutors say Sanchez targeted Bush because Bush was wearing women’s clothing.
Sanchez’s bail was set at $3 million, said Greg Risling, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office.
Sanchez is accused of shooting Bush in the early hours of July 5. The victim was speaking to another person when Sanchez “made disparaging and offensive comments” regarding the victim, authorities said.
Sanchez fired multiple shots before fleeing. Bush was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died.
“Targeting someone because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is unconscionable,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said in the release.
Sanchez is also charged with shooting at a bystander, who was not hit, authorities said.
An arraignment hearing took place Wednesday and will continue on Aug. 3 at the San Fernando Courthouse, Risling said.
“Hate crimes have spiked across the country in recent years and we remain steadfast in ensuring that we hold these violent individuals accountable while working to prevent such violence from happening in the future,” Gascón said.
The Los Angeles Police Department is still investigating the shooting.
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