Marjorie Taylor Greene leads far-right voices falsely claiming Philadelphia shooter is trans

Five people, including a 15-year-old boy, were killed in a mass shooting on Monday

Ariana Baio
Wednesday 05 July 2023 22:08 BST
Philadelphia Mayor shares frustrations about gun violence on 4 July 2022

After a devastating mass shooting left five people dead in Philadelphia, misinformation about the suspected shooter ran rampant on Twitter with politicians like Georgia Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene claiming the assailant was transgender.

“Another trans shooter,” Ms Greene tweeted on Tuesday with a link to an article from the right-wing website The Post Millennial.

The article used a photo from a now-deleted Facebook page that belonged to the suspected shooter, who was identified as 40-year-old Kimbrady Carriker, wearing feminine clothing.

Ms Greene’s tweet claiming the suspect was trans received over 800k views and sparked a slew of anti-transgender rhetoric from Twitter users accusing trans people of conducting mass shootings and targeting children.

However, in a press conference on Wednesday, officials confirmed that Mr Carriker is not transgender and identifies as male.

“The suspect has not identified themselves as trans,” Asa Khalif said. “They have only identified themselves as male”

In an interview with The Independent, Mr Carriker’s grandmother said her grandson was gay and sometimes enjoyed cross-dressing but had not undergone any gender transition surgery or treatment.

The Independent reached out to Ms Greene’s office for comment.

Several right-wing figures on Twitter used the article or photo of Mr Carriker to falsely blame “mental health crisis” or trans people that “target children” for mass shootings.

Kimbrady Carriker was trying to find himself, his grandmother says. 'He didn’t know where he belonged’ (Facebook)

Conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren re-tweeted a post that claimed the shooter was trans and used it to promote the notion that guns are not the cause of mass shootings.

Chaya Raichik, the creator of LibsofTikTok also falsely claimed the suspected shooter was trans.

In the replies of each post, Twitter users made sweeping accusations about people in the trans community implying they are dangerous people.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Mr Khalif condemned the online rhetoric geared at transgender people, specifically trans women of color.

“The language spewed out by the conservative press is violent and dangerous and it’s targetting trans women of color… I am sure [Carriker] will be punished to the fullest extent of the law but we will not allow trans women, and trans women in particularly trans women of color be the scapegoat for bigots,” Mr Khalif said.

After a transgender man killed three school children and three adults during a mass shooting at a Nashville elementary school, many Republican leaders used the tragedy to promote the argument that transgender issues are a cause ofmass shootings.

A report from Vice News found that a review of Mr Carriker’s social media profile showed that he repeatedly posted about gun rights, supported Donald Trump and supported the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mr Carriker’s grandmother said her grandson was “very political” and held anti-government views.

The 40-year-old allegedly killed five people and injured two others after using an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun to “aimlessly” fire gunshots in a neighbourhood in Philadelphia this week.

Mr Carriker was charged with five counts of murder in addition to other charges in a preliminary arraignment on Wednesday.

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