"Pablo Gomez Jr. was a University of California, Berkeley, senior majoring in Latino studies and a prominent campus activist when authorities say he stabbed to death a popular elementary-school teacher.
Soon, the crime that police described as "very brutal and unusual" in a city that reported just two homicides last year was sucked up into the debate over gender identity when it was reported that Gomez preferred to be called "they" rather than "he."
Even in famously liberal Berkeley, with its long history of protest, the uproar came as a surprise, overwhelming the online news site, www.berkeleyside.com, that first reported on Gomez's preference.
"I didn't see it as something that would anger anyone," reporter Emilie Raguso said.
After Raguso's report, conservative commentator Ann Coulter ridiculed the pronoun change and mocked Gomez's activist background. Breitbart.com and other conservative political websites picked up the story.
On the university campus, where the debate over nontraditional pronouns has simmered, some students said Gomez's case is different.
"I think you give away your right to make a demand like that when you are arrested for killing somebody," said junior Jonothan Chow, a member of the College Republicans.
Representatives of UC Berkeley's Gender Equity Resource Center, where Gomez was a member, declined requests to comment on the controversy, as did other Gay rights activist groups in Berkeley.
Victim Emile Inman, a 27-year-old native of France, was found in her home in January with a "We Stand with Standing Rock" sign in the front window she shared with other young roommates a few miles from campus." -Yahoo