Man Arrested as Historic Gay Resort Mourns ‘Incredible’ Staff Member
A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a Florida queer venue employee who was shot dead in a hotel room.
Police were called to Parliament House Resort on April 1 after guests reported hearing shots fired.
They discovered the body of Ricardo Filmore, a 37-year-old employee, in a hotel room. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Investigators have since arrested 28-year-old Courtney Lamar Williams in connection with Filmore’s death, and he now reportedly faces a charge of first degree murder.
Florida’s Parliament House led tributes to Ricardo Filmore.
Filmore’s death was mourned by staff at Parliament House. In a Facebook post, the historic gay venue said he had become involved in “a domestic dispute” and “lost his life”.
“We are completely devastated by the loss of Ricardo,” they wrote.
“He was an incredible part of our family. We appreciate all of your messages of support at this time.
“Rest in Peace, Ricky.”
We are completely devastated by the loss of Ricardo.
Tributes poured in for the murdered staff member from regulars at the venue.
“My condolences. Saw him many times keeping us safe,” one Parliament House customer commented.
Another wrote: “Parliament House and his family have our deepest condolences.”
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“So sad he was such a nice guy, Rest In Peace Ricky,” another regular wrote.
More than 2,000 people die from gun violence in Florida every year.
People who knew Ricardo personally expressed their shock at his death, and urged anybody with information on his killing to come forward.
According to Everytown Research, 2,568 people on average die every year in Florida from gun violence. The state has the 26th highest rate of gun deaths in the United States.
Parliament House was founded in 1975 and has become a staple for the local LGBT+ community since then. The resort is home to a number of gay bars and regularly hosts drag shows.
Various high-profile drag queens have performed at the venue over the years, including RuPaul, Shangela, Latrice Royale and Sharon Needles.