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On the 18th this month, Travis Kirby Ikeguchi, 27, murdered a mother who cared for nine children because she had a pride flag outside of her Cedar Glen, CA fashion shop. Ikeguchi yelled anti-queer slurs at Mag.Pi fashion shop owner Laura Ann Carleton, 66, before gunning her down, fleeing the scene and, according to law enforcement, dying on the scene from injuries in a gunfight with deputies.
Ikeguchi was a frequent poster on Gab. Gab is the Twitter clone run by Christian fascist “free speech guy” Andrew Torba. The website also hosted the missives of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooter. Preliminary analysis by LCRW shows that Ikeguchi, although not a white supremacist, was a hardline bigot whose views were forged in the melting pot for niche hate philosophies that is Gab.
Unlike his Twitter, Ikeguchi’s Gab account was apparently deleted while his backup account had all of its posts removed at the time of writing. His account is still there, mostly blank except for the description that reads, in part, “DO NOT COMPROMISE with satan’s laws(democracy)nor its agents(police officers.)” At the bottom it says “Member since January 2021,” while the Gab-provided start of the account is April, 2023, implying his old account was deleted long ago. Other posts LCRW viewed were dated back to 2020.
Much has been made of Ikeguchi’s pinned tweet, depicting a burning LGBTQ+ pride flag. His twitter presence was, for the most part, focused on Christian supremacist targets like abortion and policing gender and sexuality. On Gab he was more explicit, expressing his willingness to kill people he deemed “degenerate.” But Gab was far from just a “safe space” where Ikeguchi could be more unhinged than twitter—it was a place where he was tormented by other bigots who knew how to get under his skin.
And what got under Ikeguchi’s skin? For one thing, his father, David Ikeguchi.
David Ikeguchi is a 35-year veteran state trooper in Florida. According to his LinkedIn, David Ikeguchi also trained people in driving and firearms use for Florida Highway Patrol. He also has “instructor certificates in patrol rifle and active shooter training as well as Glock and AR15 armorer.” Ikeguchi’s parents, according to a report by The Independent, divorced in 2018, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
“he betrays his own race and gave Asian visitors a ticket where he should gave them a warning since they are not familiar with the rules of the road,” he wrote in one argument with some neo-Nazis on Gab.
Ikeguchi continued the rant, saying that he’d like to murder every cop (and every Jewish person and everyone else) in Florida including his father because they’re possessed by Jewish demons.
In May last year, according to San Bernardino County court records, Ikeguchi even filed a name change petition to distance himself from his father. He changed his name to Timothy Thomas Yokohama.
Ikeguchi didn’t just hate his father for a lack of racial loyalty, however. In 2019 he set up a GoFundMe, claiming he and his mother were homeless after the divorce. According to the divorce records The Independent obtained, the family’s assets were to be divided evenly and the elder Ikeguchi was ordered to pay $1,800 a month in spousal support to his ex-wife, but Ikeguchi says his father was withholding the money.
Much of what remains about Ikeguchi on Gab is the interactions he had with other users and few screenshots users strung together to gleefully make the case that he’d become a mass shooter. These posts, which LCRW obtained but will not republish, try to paint him as mentally handicapped, citing times he spoke candidly about having dyslexia and hinting at other learning disorders.
Ikeguchi fancied himself a Christian supremacist and appeared to hold the kind of views about Asian people that Nazis hold about white people. He frequently posted antisemitic and anti-queer rants and memes, but also had a lot of contempt for neo-Nazis. In one 2020 rant on Gab, he said Asian people need to follow the true path of god and not the “false churches” set up by “white supremacists” and “freemasons.” On his Gab profile he called himself an “anti-1488 guy.” 1488 is a white supremacist code.
But if you’re not white and you’re a bigot, there’s plenty of other groups to focus on. As has been covered extensively, Ikeguchi was violently anti-queer. In one rant while arguing with one of his regular trolls, Ikeguchi said that if lesbians tried to touch his mother or his girlfriend, he had “every right to shoot [those lesbians] in the fuckin head.”
“While you Nazis are cowards towards these degenerates because the threaten you by calling the police I don’t give a SHIT if they call the police I will take care of them myself,” he wrote.
When Ikeguchi named his father on the platform, trolls found his police portrait and started making a fan page for the elder Ikeguchi, photoshopping his face into macho videogame and film roles and calling him “based” for mistreating his son. They also used posts he made in a Gab sub-forum for G.I. Joe enthusiasts to taunt him.
“he plays with GI Joe and Barbie Dolls all day and lives with his mom lol,” one user wrote under a post in the Constitutional Part of America group, where Ikeguchi was a member.
“Travis Ikeguchi went out and murdered a woman the same day you guys said this to him,” a different Nazi replied.
But most Nazis didn’t take pause, because, like with most mass shootings, online Nazi spaces try to cultivate unstable people to do this. Either they expressed disdain at him not being white or they praised him for killing someone they hate by default.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, then, that it didn’t stop after Ikeguchi died. A Gab group that often trolled Ikeguchi gloated about the shooting.
“So should we go with the story that Travis Ikeguchi was radicalized by the Trump group, the Christian group, or the GI Joe group?” one of Ikeguchi’s regular Nazi trolls posted.
“Since he’s dead we really have the chance to shape the narrative here.”