A transgender woman in Washington DC narrowly missed being shot last month, two weeks after another transgender woman was shot dead just a block away.
Police said that the latest attack suggests a potential pattern of transphobic violence.
In the latest incident, on July 31st at 2.45am, the victim was on the 6200 block of Dix Street in the city’s north-east when a man approached and asked her for change.
Before she could answer, he pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and fired at her. The shot missed and the woman was not physically harmed.
On July 20th, 23-year-old Lashai McLean was walking along the 6100 block of Dix Street with a friend at around 4.30am when two men approached them and shot her dead.
Police say she was also asked a question and shot before she could respond. No one has been arrested in either case, although police have released suspect descriptions.
The men wanted over Ms McLean’s murder are described as two black males in their late teens to early 20s, one of whom was 6ft tall, while the other was shorter.
In the latest incident, the shooter is described as a black male, 17-19 years old, 5ft 6 and180 lbs.
A police statement said that the cases “are being investigated as a potential emerging pattern”.
The area is known as a popular meeting place for transgender prostitutes but trans advocates have warned that not all of the trans women who socialise there are sex workers.
Police are working with local transgender groups to warn people not to walk around alone and to report any suspicious behaviour.