Waco Pride Network warns people to be safe on dating apps

It comes after a man was charged with murder and named a suspect in two other shootings that appeared to target victims he encountered on the Grindr dating app.

WACO, Texas – Online dating is common these days, but sometimes it has its dark side. This is why LGBTQ leaders at the Waco Pride Network have warned people to be safe.

It comes after a man was charged with murder and named a suspect in two other shootings that appeared to target victims he encountered on the Grindr dating app.

Research shows that 40 million Americans use dating apps to find relationships. This research has shown that Texas is the eighth most dangerous state for online dating.

On Grindr, approximately 3.6 million men use the app every day.

“This is for gay men. This is where people meet. I think it indicates your location, so it will tell you that person is five or five miles away,” said Jenni Hopkins, member. of the Waco Pride Network Board of Directors. “To me it’s already dangerous, but not everyone feels like that. They just want to meet someone. They want to make a connection.”

Damarion Degrate was arrested Monday in Fort Worth and charged with the August 17 murder of Jonathan Breeding in Waco. Livestock was one of three people police believe Degrate shot dead that night. Police said he encountered the victims using Grindr.

Police are still investigating why he used the app to shoot victims and warning people to be safe.

“The most important thing is that you meet people on these dating apps that you really don’t know,” said Garen Bynum, public information officer for the Waco Police Department. “Be in a public place where there are a lot of people and less possibility of crime.”

Waco Pride Network said they were heartbroken when they heard about the shooting. They said that sometimes members of the LGBTQ community are targeted on dating apps. This is why they recommend security calls during dates.

“I used to go until people took pictures of their driver’s licenses,” Hopkins said. “I want people to understand that we prefer to stay up until 3 a.m. to call you and make sure you’re okay, then to hear you’re dead.”

Degrate has not been charged with the third shooting, but he is the prime suspect.


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