Trans Woman Shot to Death in Louisiana

Vontashia Bell

A transgender woman was shot to death in Shreveport, La., early Thursday morning, the second homicide of a trans woman reported that day.

Vontashia Bell, 18, was found on a Shreveport street about 4:30 a.m., having been shot in the upper body, the Shreveport Times reports, although it misgendered and deadnamed her. She was pronounced dead shortly afterward at a local hospital. Louisiana Trans Advocates provided her correct name and gender in a press release.

Another trans woman, Dejanay Stanton, was shot to death in Chicago the same day. She and Bell are the 17th and 18th trans Americans known to have been murdered this year.

Bell was also at least the second trans woman murdered in Louisiana this year. Amia Tyrae Berryman, 28, was fatally shot in Baton Rouge in March.

Police have yet to make an arrest in Bell’s death, the Times reports. Authorities ask that with information contact Shreveport Police Investigators at (318) 673-6955 or, if they wish to offer a tip anonymously, call (318) 673-7373, visit LockEmUp.org, or use the app P3Tips. Crime Stoppers is making a reward of up to $1,000 available for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Bell’s death “is a reminder of the current climate and national discourse on trans issues,” said the release from Louisiana Trans Advocates. “Dehumanizing language and actions lower the barriers to this kind of senseless violence.” The group called on city and state officials to condemn anti-trans discrimination and violence and to work against institutional racism.

[RELATED: These Are the Trans People Killed in 2018]

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