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Crime

Arrest Made in Death of D.C. Trans Woman Zoe Spears

Suspect Gerardo Thomas
Suspect Gerardo Thomas

Gerardo Thomas, 33, of Baltimore, is charged with first-degree murder.

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Police in Prince George's County, Md., have arrested a suspect in the death of transgender woman Zoe Spears.

Gerardo Thomas, 33, of Baltimore, is charged with first-degree murder, The Washington Post reports. Spears, 23, of Washington, D.C., was shot to death June 13 in Fairmount Heights, Md., a D.C. suburb.

Thomas acknowledged to police that he was in the neighborhood where Spears was killed that night and was armed, Brian Reilly, head of the criminal investigations division for Prince George's County Police, told the Post.

Police are still trying to determine his motive but do not believe the crime was related to Spears's gender identity. "He did not mention anything about her being a transgender female," Reilly said, adding that Thomas offered no reason for the crime.

Police also do not think Spears's murder was connected to that of another trans woman, Ashanti Carmon, in the same area in March. The two women were friends, and Carmon's body was found just half a mile away from where Spears was killed. In the investigation of Carmon's death, which remains open, police interviewed Spears as a witness.

A memorial service for Spears was held a few days ago. Spears worked in retail and had ambitions to become a lawyer, according to her friends. "To know Zoe was to know her loving and caring spirit," said a program for the service. "There are many who would say that Zoe was one who [loved] life and wanted to make it."

So far this year, 11 murders of transgender people, all women of color, have been reported in the U.S.

(RELATED: These Are the Trans People Killed in 2019)

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.