Transgender woman fatally shot becomes 14th trans victim killed this year
A transgender woman has been fatally shot in Cleveland, becoming the 14th trans victim in the US in 2018.
Keisha Wells, 58, was found in the car park of an apartment building with a gunshot wound to the abdomen on Detroit Avenue on Sunday.
No arrests have been made yet and the investigation is ongoing, according to Cleveland.com.
The victim’s aunt, Regina Spicer, said Wells was known as “Pokey” to family and friends.
“Pokey liked laughing and telling funny stories about people. But when (she) loved you and cared about you, (she) loved you,” she said.
Sheila Jones, a friend of Wells, told the newspaper: “She was the nicest person ever. But she was a tough cookie. She wouldn’t back down from anyone.”
Wells is the 14th known transgender person to have been killed this year.
On the same day, trans woman Cathalina Christina James was killed in Jacksonville, Florida.
James is the third black trans woman to be killed in 2018.
Activist Christina Kittle told local newspaper The Jacksonville: “This isn’t something that should be considered normal. People are dying, this is very serious.”
“A lot of my friends are scared, they’re just scared to go out. I mean, I would be scared, too,” Kittle said.
According to Human Rights Watch, there have been 113 incidents of fatal violence against transgender and non-binary people since 2013. Of those killed, 64 were victims of gun violence.
Human rights groups have warned the number of victims could be higher, as this does not include trans victims whose deaths were not reported due to misgendering in police reports, news stories or by their families.
In May, Gigi Pierce, a 28-year-old transgender woman was shot dead in public in Portland, Oregon.
Nino Fortson, 36, died after being shot multiple times following an argument in Atlanta, Georgia, during the early hours of May 23.
In the same month, Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon, 18, was choked to death in Dallas, Texas.
In April, Sasha Wall, 29, was shot dead in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.
Amia Tyrae Berryman, a 28-year-old from Los Angeles, was fatally shot in a motel room in March.
In February, the body of Zakaria Fry, 28, was found on a road just outside of Santa Fe, Albuquerque.
Phylicia Mitchell was shot dead in Cleveland, Ohio. The 45-year-old was found in her living room on February 23 with bullet wounds in her chest.
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Celine Walker, 36, was found shot to death in a motel room in Jacksonville, Florida in February.
Earlier that month, Tonya Harvey, 35, was shot dead on Shepard Street in Buffalo, New York.
Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, the founder of the Miss Trans America pageant, was stabbed to death earlier this year. Her husband Mark Steele-Knudslien confessed to her murder.
In January, Viccky Gutierrez, from Honduras, was killed in Los Angeles.
In 2017, at least 26 transgender people were killed in the US and nearly all of the victims were trans women of colour.