Trans woman shot in the head in Indiana, suspect has links to listed hate group
A transgender woman has been left unable to speak after being shot in the face in Indiana.
55-year-old Crystal Cash was rushed to hospital last week after the horrific incident in Evansville.
Ms Cash, who owns a successful cosmetics business, was targeted at work by a man who her family say targeted her because she is transgender.
Initial police reports had incorrectly identified her as male, but her brother confirmed via local news outlet WFIE that she is a transgender woman.
Police have arrested the alleged shooter, 26-year-old Gerald Duane Lewis.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports that Lewis identifies as a member of Israel United in Christ, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a black supremacist hate group. He allegedly yelled a homophobic slur during the attack, and some reports suggest he was wearing the group’s uniform at the time of the attack.
Ms Cash’s brother Johnny Dickens said it was “painful” to see her hospitalised. She remains unable to speak due to the injuries to her face and jaw.
Dickens attacked claims that his sister was a sex worker because she advertised her business on classified service Backpage.com, saying: “I just want to set the record straight and tell the world that my sister has come a long way from where she’s come.
“She has made something of herself. She’s a professional business owner and she is not some sort of a prostitute that’s luring people into her office.”
Lewis, who is being held in Vandeburgh County jail, appeared in court on Tuesday via video link.
He faces preliminary charges of attempted murder, robbery and carrying a handgun without a permit.
Federal authorities are also thought to be considering hate crime charges.