A shop owner in the US was shot dead after a dispute over displaying a Pride flag outside her establishment broke out.

Laura Ann Carleton, 66, was found deceased at her Mag Pi shop in Cedar Glen, California, on 18 August.

The suspect, who fled the scene on foot, was killed by police after being found allegedly still armed nearby.

He had made “disparaging remarks” about the rainbow flag on show before shooting the victim, police confirmed.

After being located, the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department said “a lethal force encounter occurred and the suspect was pronounced deceased”.

Local group Lake Arrowhead LGBT described Laura as a “friend and supporter” of the community who will be “truly missed”.

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“Lauri did not identify as LGBTQ+, but spent her time helping & advocating for everyone in the community,” they wrote online.

The group’s Instagram post also claimed that she was “murdered defending her LGBTQ+ Pride flags in front of her store”.

Paul Feig, a Hollywood director, posted a picture of he and Laura together on Instagram, referring to her as a “wonderful friend”.

“This intolerance has to end,” he continued. 

“Anyone using hateful language against the LGBTQ+ community has to realize their words matter, that their words can inspire violence against innocent loving people. 

“Let’s all keep moving forward with tolerance and love. Let’s not let Lauri’s tragic death be in vain.”