Police in Washington, D.C., have identified a possible homicide victim initially thought to be a transgender woman as Gaurav Gopalan, and in a separate case, arrested a man suspected of shooting a transgender woman on Monday.
The Washington Blade reports on the identification of Gopalan, 35, who was found dead early Saturday morning in northwest D.C. wearing women’s clothes, makeup, and carrying high heels. Police thought he may have been transgender, but local responses to a photo released by the city medical examiner’s office suggested he was a gay man, perhaps dressed in drag. The cause of death remained undetermined.
Also on Tuesday, police arrested a northeast D.C. man, Darryl Willard, and charged him with assault with intent to kill for shooting a transgender woman in southeast D.C. early Monday morning. The shooter turned himself in and the victim, who was not identified, is expected to survive.
According to the The Washington Times, “Police said the shooting did not appear to be related to two earlier shootings this summer that targeted transgendered women.”
The shooting and possible homicide heightened existing concerns about an apparent pattern of targeted violence against transgender women in D.C. Since July, at least one woman has been murdered and another shot in a northeast D.C. neighborhood, with no suspects identified. Also last month, a drunk off-duty police officer fired on a group of three transgender women and two friends in northwest D.C.