A grand jury has indicted a New York woman for making threats against Denver-area LGBTQ businesses, threatening mass shootings on par with the one at LGBTQ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs last year.
Sharon Robinson, 40, of Brooklyn, appeared in federal court on Wednesday to face four counts of transmission of threats in interstate commerce.
A grand jury found last week that there was probable cause to charge Robinson, who allegedly called four separate businesses on December 8 and threatened to shoot up the establishments.
Robinson allegedly used several anti-gay slurs in her messages, leaving a voicemail at one business saying, “They might shoot your bar up next you faggoty homos, you sodomites.”
She allegedly told another business owner, “They want to shoot you next faggot. You homosexuals. You big faggots. Sodomite pieces of shit. They gonna shoot you next. Gonna shoot you next you piece of shit. Faggots. GG-Gonna kill you 1-2-3 faggot. Only you gay people. Faggot.”
“I’m going to go over there and shoot you all,” Robinson allegedly told another business owner, and told an employee at a fourth establishment, “You’re gonna be shot up like Club Q.”
The indictment also charges Robinson with targeting the businesses due to their actual and perceived sexual orientation, which could carry bias enhancements, or additional penalties, including a possible longer sentence, if Robinson is convicted of the charges.
Amanda David, the federal public defender who represented Robinson during her court appearance in New York, declined to comment on the allegation against her client when approached by The Washington Post.
Robinson was released on $50,000 bond and will be prosecuted in Colorado federal court.
The conditions of her release bar her from traveling outside New York City or Long Island, except for court appearances in Colorado.
Robinson’s threats came just weeks after the Nov. 19 mass shooting at Club Q, in which five people were killed and more than a dozen others wounded.
The shooting — coupled with an increasing number of threats against LGBTQ businesses amid rising anti-LGBTQ sentiment — has led many clubs, especially those with drag performers, to adopt additional security measures.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, the alleged Club Q shooter, has been charged with 305 counts, including first-degree murder and hate crime charges, and could face up to life in prison, without parole, for the murder charges.
The motive for the shooting still remains unknown, with the club’s owners telling The New York Times that Aldrich was not a regular at the club.
While Aldrich’s lawyers have claimed their client identifies as nonbinary, one of Aldirch’s former friends, and some experts on online extremism, have expressed skepticism about that claim, positing that Aldrich may be trying to “troll” the LGBTQ community by claiming to be part of it.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!