Three arrested over alleged ‘hate-motivated’ murder of gay social worker

Tyreese Johnson, Shaleeya Moore and Joshua Ellis are facing murder charges

A third person has been arrested over the shooting of a gay social worker in the US state of Georgia.

19 year-old Tyreese T Johnson, of was arrested on July 31 over the murder of Atlanta man Ronald Trey Peters who was shot and killed on June 4.

Police documents say that Johnson “is accused of shooting Peters and causing his death and taking property that belonged to the victim,” facing charges of felony murder and armed robbery.

Two other men, 18-year-old Shaleeya Moore and 21-year-old Joshua Ellis, have also been arrested in connection with the murder.

Man branded a ‘fag’ in ‘hate-motivated’ murder

The state of Georgia has no hate crime laws protecting LGBT+ people, but police are treating the killing as a “hate-motivated” incident.

Witnesses say that Peters, 28, was jumped by a group of men who approached him in a truck while he was on his way to work.

The attackers branded him a “f**king fag” and demanded he give them his backpack.

Ronald Trey Peters was shot and killed in Atlanta, Georgia

Ronald Trey Peters was shot and killed in Atlanta, Georgia

According to an incident report, “one of the unidentified suspects shot the victim in the chest with a chrome pistol, then proceeded to shoot him again in the neck after he was on the ground and took his bag.”

Peters, who worked at Regional Medical Group in Decatur as a case manager, had faced homophobic abuse a week before the killing.

His boyfriend Joseph Titus Davis told police that prior to the murder, there had been an incident “that involved two black men harassing Peters calling him a faggot.”

The federal government has the power to intervene in states with no hate crime laws and bring charges federally, though it is yet to do so.

Georgia has no LGBT+ hate crime laws

Allison Padilla-Goodman of the Anti-Defamation League said previously: “Unfortunately, this deadly attack is not a rare or isolated event. Rather, this is the latest in a long string of hate-motivated incidents.

“This latest attack shows the need for hate crime legislation in Georgia and we call on our state elected officials to pass HB 426 in the next legislative session.”

“Our hearts go out to the family of Ronald Peters. We are praying for his family and his partner, Titus Davis, during a month where we should be celebrating the LGBTQ community, not mourning it.”

Padilla Goodman added: “It is time to show all Georgians and the nation that we take people’s identities seriously and protect them. We will not allow bias and bigotry to reign free, and we believe that everyone should be who they are without fear of violence.

“It is time for Georgia to send a message to hate crime victims and all Georgians that we stand with them and we will make sure that bias-motivated crimes are handled responsibly.”