By Susan Payne
Officials announced last week that a man in connection with the “hate-motivated” killing of a Sylmar homeless person earlier this month has been charged.
Eric Antonio Sanchez, 29, faces one count of murder and one count of attempted murder with a hate crime allegation, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Near the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Polk Street, Sanchez was walking past 48-year-old Ryan Bush and allegedly pulled out a gun and shot him.
Authorities said Bush was dressed in women’s clothing.
Bush was hospitalized in critical condition and later died, according to authorities.
Sanchez is accused of targeting Bush on a presumption of gender identity and sexual orientation, according to the District’s Office. Sanchez has also been charged with shooting a nearby bystander.
“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,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a news release. “Targeting someone because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is unconscionable.”
The incident is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.