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Three Suspects Arraigned On Hate Crime Charges In Brooklyn Anti-LGBT Shooting

The victim, a 22-year-old man, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. In criminal complaints obtained by BuzzFeed News, prosecutors accuse the suspects of shouting anti-LGBT slurs during the attack.

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Two men and a teenage boy have been arraigned on multiple charges — including hate crime charges — in connection with an anti-LGBT shooting attack in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on Saturday morning, according to the King's County Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.

In criminal complaints released to BuzzFeed News on Monday, prosecutors accused the three suspects, Matthew Smith, 21, Tavon Johnson, 17, and Cody Sigue, 22, of following the victim, and two other men who were wearing women's clothing, and shouting anti-LGBT slurs at them, such as "Y'all faggots" and "men dressing like women" and "tranny," among others.

Then, according to the documents, Smith allegedly opened fire on them as they tried to get away, shooting the victim, a 22-year-old man who has not been identified, in the buttocks. The victim was taken to Brookdale University Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police captured the suspects soon after the attack, which occurred Saturday morning around 7 a.m. near Broadway and Putnam Avenue. Later, cops recovered six .40-caliber gun casings form the crime scene, according to the criminal complaint against Smith.

All three were arraigned on Sunday, according to Brooklyn DA spokeswoman Valerie Phillips. Johnson and Sigue face charges such as menacing and aggravated harassment with hate crime distinctions. Smith faces additional charges such as assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and attempted murder in the second degree along with hate crime charges.

Smith and Sigue are expected to appear in court Oct. 3, and Johnson on Oct. 10, according to Phillips.

Shelby Chestnut, interim co-director of community organizing and public advocacy, at New York-based Anti-Violence Project (AVP), said authorities were aided by multiple eyewitnesses who took action to report the violence.

Additionally, Chestnut said that AVP advocates don't believe the victim identified as transgender, but was targeted in part because of his feminine clothing. The organization plans to do outreach in the Bushwick area following the attack and urge residents to report any additional violence on its 24-hour hotline: 212-714-1141.

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