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Indianapolis Trans Woman Shot to Death; 33rd Homicide This Year

Sara Blackwood

Another transgender American has died by violence, bringing this year’s total of trans or gender-nonconforming homicide victims in the nation to 33.

Sara Blackwood, 29, was shot around 10 p.m. Sunday in Indianapolis, The Indianapolis Star reports. She died shortly afterward at a local hospital.

Police said she was apparently walking home from work when she was shot, Indianapolis TV station WXIN reports. She had worked at a Kroger grocery store for several years, but she was on her way home from a different job, according to the station.

“She was very sweet and a very good person,” her friend Jimmy Johnson, a Kroger coworker, told the station. She provided excellent service to customers, he said. “She was very quick, so if they had a problem at the self-checkout, she would be right there,” he noted.

“The world at large is missing a very kind, responsible person,” Johnson added.

Activists mourned her death as well. “Six transgender women have been killed over the last 23 days — which is just over three weeks — in this country. This violence is heartbreaking and horrifying. It must end,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a press release.

“We have already seen more trans and gender-nonconforming people killed this year since we began tracking these deaths in 2013, and the numbers continue to climb, even during a pandemic. We must all ask ourselves what each of us is doing to work to bring this violence to an end. We are mourning Sara’s loss along with her friends and family, including her domestic partner Avery, who are all in our thoughts. As we take time to remember Sara, we’ll keep fighting for the lives for all trans and gender-nonconforming people.”

With 33 homicides of trans people reported in the U.S., 2020 is the deadliest year since activists and media outlets began keeping records. The previous high was 31 in 2017. The number for any given year is likely higher, given that many victims are misgendered in death (as Blackwood initially was) or their deaths not reported at all.

Police ask that anyone with information on the crime call the police department at (317) 327-3811 or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS (8477).

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