A transgender woman identified by friends as Dejanay Stanton was murdered on Chicago’s south side Thursday.
Stanton was found in an alley about 12:30 a.m., Chicago police told Windy City Times. They were responding to reports of gunshots in the area, and they found she had been shot in the head. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Police referred to her as “Jane Doe,” but friends who saw her photo on social media identified her as Dejanay Stanton Thursday evening, according to Windy City Times.
“So we lost another sister here in Chicago. Sending her family and loved ones peace and justice! Rest in power, Dejanay Stanton,” LaSaia Wade, executive director of Brave Space Alliance, wrote on Facebook:
“She was so sweet. Every time you saw her she had a smile on her face," Wade continued. “She was just trying to live her best life as a young girl.”
Friends plan to remember her with a balloon release tonight at 7:30 at the crime scene. Police are continuing to search for a suspect, Windy City Times reports.
Stanton is the 17th transgender American known to have been murdered this year. The total is likely higher, given that some victims are misgendered in death or their murders not reported at all.