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Homeless trans woman shot dead in suspected hate crime after using women’s bathroom in McDonald’s

Emma Powys Maurice February 26, 2020
Police are investigating the murder of the trans woman Alexa Luciano Ruiz in Puerto Rico

Police are investigating the murder of the trans woman Alexa Luciano Ruiz in Puerto Rico. (Twitter/@DavidBegnaud)

A trans woman who was shot and killed in a suspected hate crime after she used a women’s bathroom in a McDonald’s in Puerto Rico.

Officials confirmed that the woman was Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, also known as Alexa, and that she was killed early on Monday morning in the town of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.

Earlier someone had called police to report that she was using the women’s bathroom at a McDonald’s restaurant and had been “peeping on people”. Hours later, she was dead. Her body has yet to be claimed by her family.

Puerto Rico governor Wanda Vázquez believes the murder had a transphobic motive. “Everything points to this being a hate crime, and that’s how it will be treated,” she said.

No one has been arrested for the crime, but police announced on Tuesday that they received tips that suggest four teenagers were involved.

Police are also investigating a disturbing video uploaded to YouTube which appears to show Ruiz’s killing. Two voices can be heard on the video, one saying: “We are going to shoot you up.”

Another says, “Let’s spin the tires on this motherf*cker” and “You bet I am going to go and shoot him.” Then the sound of a gun loading can be heard, followed by at least 10 shots.

“We’re urging authorities to investigate the hate angle in this horrific case,” Puerto Rican LGBT+ activist Pedro Julio Serrano told the Washington Blade. He believes she was “stalked and hunted” before she was murdered.

“We don’t know all the details yet, but she was harassed, hunted and brutally killed,” he said. “There’s no doubt that transphobia and intolerance had much to do in this case.

“Trans people are human beings that deserve to live with respect, peace and dignity.”

In a statement on his website, he urged people to denounce the hate speech of fundamentalist groups that have promoted a climate where trans people are prosecuted and persecuted for simply using a bathroom.

 

 

 

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