Two trans women who were attacked in the street may have been the victims of a hate crime,Washington DC police have said.

Tyli’a ‘NaNa Boo’ Mack, 21, who previously used the name Joshua, was stabbed to death on August 26th as she walked with a friend to a trans services organisation.

Her friend, also a trans woman, suffered knife injuries and was released from hospital two days later. She is said to have told police the attacker may have used an anti-gay insult towards them. As a witness, she cannot be identified.

Police have described the attack as a “possible” hate crime, but say they do not have enough evidence yet. It is not clear whether a murder weapon has been discovered.

A vigil held last week for the pair drew 250 well-wishes, including local police and Transgender Health Empowerment, the group Mack and her friend were walking to visit before they were attacked.

Mack’s mother Beverlyn called for anyone with information to come forward and tell police what they know.

She also paid tribute to her daughter, saying they knew she was trans and that she was loved and respected.

She said: “My child was born like everyone else — through a mother’s womb. And I don’t think it’s fair for other people to take other people’s lives.”

The vigil also called on city leaders such as mayor Adrian Fenty to speak out against anti-LGBT violence.