Antash’a English, a 38-uear-old transgender woman living in Jacksonville, Fla., was shot to death in the city Friday, becoming the 12th known transgender homicide victim this year.
On a city street, English was shot in the abdomen by someone firing from a vehicle, The Florida Times-Union reports. She was still alive when police found her about 3:45 a.m. Friday, but she died later at a local hospital.
Some early media reports and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office misgendered and deadnamed English, but a friend of hers told a local news program that she was an “unapologetic” transgender woman.
“She was an unapologetic, bold, and loyal person,” Taliyah Smith told First Coast News, a program of TV stations WTLV and WJXX. “We met years ago while at a gay pageant. We both were entertainers.” English, who won many pageants, performed regularly at InCahoots, a nightclub in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood, Smith said.
The sheriff’s office was previously criticized for misgendering and deadnaming Celine Walker, a trans woman shot to dead at a Jacksonville motel in February. “The name and gender used for the deceased victim are the ones found on the most current form of government-issued identification,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda told First Coast News.
Walker’s murder remains unsolved, and police are continuing to investigate English’s death as well. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office or Crime Stoppers, (866) 845-TIPS.
A candlelight vigil and balloon release in memory of English will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Sidney J. Gefen Riverwalk Park in Jacksonville, followed by a benefit show at InCahoots to help English’s family with burial expenses.