In the early morning hours of November 12, Gizzy Fowler, a 24-year-old transgender woman of color, was fatally shot in the front yard of a north Nashville residence, according to Nashville news station WKRN-TV.
Neighbors called police at 5:27 a.m. on Wednesday after hearing a gunshot and seeing an unfamiliar white Buick LaCrosse, which authorities have identified as Fowler's, sitting in the driveway of the Bordeaux-area home. Seeing lights on inside the home, which neighbors knew to be unoccupied, they called police to report a possible burglary.
When police arrived, they found Fowler deceased near the open passenger door of her car. The residence showed no signs of forced entry. Police are still investigating why Fowler was on the property.
Fowler's identity was withheld until Friday, when her next-of-kin made a positive identification. Initially, WKRN-TV misidentified her as a "man wearing women's clothes," and several local news stations misgendered Fowler, until the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition announced that Fowler identified as a trans woman, notes Nashville's Out and About.
On Friday, the victim's mother, Tiffany Fowler — who refers to her child with male pronouns — tearfully asked her community for answers through local news station WSMV-TV.
"All I want to know is why," Fowler said. "[She] loved people. [She] was just a genuine people person. … I just pray that we can get some answers on what happened. What did my child do to you that was so bad, to make you do this to [her]. To take [her], why?"
On Saturday night, a vigil was held in Nashville to honor Fowler's life and call for an end to street violence.
As the 17th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance approaches this week, trans advocates have drawn attention to the rash of violent crime against trans women of color worldwide. Fowler's case is the 11th reported murder of a trans woman of color in the U.S. this year. The other women include Ashley Sherman, Aniya Parker, Alejandra Leos, Tiffany Edwards, Kandy Hall, Mia Henderson, Zoraida Reyes, Yaz'min Sancez, Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis, and an unidentified gender-nonconforming person who was killed in Detroit in August.
Anyone with information about Fowler's murder should call Metro Nashville Police at (615) 862-7400.