Kièr Solomon, a 21-year-old Black transgender woman, was found fatally shot in her car at an apartment complex in Arlington, Texas, Thursday night, making her at least the 38th trans American to die by violence this year.
Solomon, who was also known as Kiér Laprí Kartier, was in the driver’s seat with the door open and the engine running when another motorist spotted her, the Dallas-Fort Worth CBS affiliate reports. She was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Solomon had no known connection to the Madrid Apartments, the complex where she was found. She lived with her grandmother in Dallas, and she sometimes visited friends at a different complex in Arlington.
She was between jobs and was looking for employment, friends and family told the station. Police are still searching for a suspect, and they said they don’t believe the perpetrator was motivated by Solomon’s gender identity. But in any case, there is an epidemic of fatal violence against trans Americans, with most of the victims being Black women.
Friends and relatives are remembering her fondly. “Right now I am just trying to understand … and figure out why,” her mother, Arnitra Robinson, told another local TV station, KDFW. “Kier was very loved and loved a lot of people. There was no reason for this to have happened.”
Friend Kenya Kartier added, “First time seeing her, I was like, she’s so beautiful. She was fresh in her transition. I wanted to be her trans mother. I wanted to teach her.”
Another friend, identified only as Josh, told KDFW they had been making dinner together before she went to Arlington. “Something in my soul told me something wasn’t right,” Josh said.
Solomon is at least the fifth trans person killed in Texas this year; the state has often been the site of fatal violence against the community. “Since I moved to Dallas three years ago to the date tomorrow, this is the eighth transgender woman of color who has been shot,” Naomi Green, a fellow with the Human Rights Campaign’s Activate program, said in a press release. “The seven who were killed were all Black and the Latina survived. I didn’t know that when I moved here I was moving to a place where being trans means being more deserving to die. That a trans life was not equivalent to any other life and was less deserving. That is the mentality of many outside our LGBTQ+ community here and it has to stop. We need the help of others to stop the senseless violence and killing of trans people in this city. My heart goes out to this lovely trans sister who lost her life at only 21 and all those who loved and knew her.”
Arlington police ask that anyone with information about the crime call the department at (817) 459-6466 or Crime Stoppers at (817) 469-8477.
In 2020 at least 44 trans Americans died by violence, a record in the time that activists and media have been keeping track, and this year’s total is likely to exceed that. There are likely many more victims who are not acknowledged as trans because of misgendering by police or media, or whose deaths are not reported at all.