San Diego Police have arrested two men and two women suspected in last month's murder of Amos Beede, a transgender man, in Burlington, Vt.
Beede, 38, was found beaten and unconscious by Burlington Police on May 22 near a homeless encampment, and died of his injuries a week later.
San Diego officers were working from a tip from Burlington investigators about the whereabouts of the four suspects. Jordan Paul, Erik Averill, Allison Gee, and Myia Barber, all transients in their early 20s, were apprehended in Ocean City, Calif., without incident, reports San Diego's KGTV.
While police initially indicated that Beede's gender identity may have motivated the attack, it appears now that the attack was an escalation of a dispute between two homeless camps, which involved one smearing human excrement on the other's tents. While it was initially reported that he was a transient, Beede was not himself homeless and had an apartment in nearby Milton. However, he frequented one of the camps to provide assistance to those living there and appears to have been caught up in the conflict.
The four suspects will be held in a San Diego jail until they can be extradited to Vermont, where they will face second-degree murder charges. After Beede's death, his family released a statement about him:
"Amos lived a complicated life. He had his share of hard times. Maybe because of this, he was a loving and caring person, especially to those who lived in the margins of society. From the performers on Church Street to the homeless people living in the encampments, Amos was a friend to so many people. He went to the homeless camp quite often to support others who needed help. Sometimes he mentored folks there and listened to them when they were at their wit's end. We are devastated to think that someone or some group of people could do such harm to someone who helped so many."
The Vermont Pride Center will host a celebration of Beede's life on Wednesday with a community art project of paper flowers in a style that Beede frequently gave as gifts to others. A crowd-funding site as been set-up to assist Beede's family with his funeral expenses.
Beede was the 13th trans person in the U.S. known to be have been murdered in 2016.