Transgender woman Denali Berries Stuckey was found dead of a gunshot wound in North Charleston, S.C., Saturday morning.
Her death is the 12th reported homicide of a trans American this year, with all victims so far being women of color.
Stucket was found lying along a road in North Charleston about 4:05 a.m. Saturday and pronounced dead at the scene, Charleston TV station WCIV reports. Local media and police initially misgendered and deadnamed her, but police released a statement Sunday saying they had learned “that Stuckey identifies as a transgender female,” according to Charleston’s City Paper. Police have declined to say if they believe her murder was a hate crime.
Stuckey, 29, was a Charleston native and worked as a manicurist, the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog reports.
Several South Carolina LGBTQ rights groups are organizing a memorial vigil to be held at 8 p.m. tonight at the Equality Hub in North Charleston.
“I am heartbroken and outraged by the news of yet another murder of one of our transgender community members. Denali is the third known black trans woman to have been murdered in South Carolina since 2018,” Chase Glenn, executive director of the Alliance for Full Acceptance, one of the groups sponsoring the vigil, said in a statement issued Sunday, City Paper reports. “While the greater community may be either unaware or disinterested in this news, it is important to understand the epidemic of violence against trans women of color and the crisis point at which we are now and have been for years.”
Other groups involved include Charleston Pride, We Are Family, Charleston Area Transgender Support, Charleston Black Pride, and South Carolina Equality.
“In this moment, we are focused on our responsibility to honor and memorialize Denali as she chose to identify herself, while raising much-needed awareness among the general public about the violence perpetrated against the transgender community — and more specifically trans women of color,” Glenn added. “We refuse to become numb. We will continue to say the names of these women and remember them how they would have wanted to be remembered.”