A Black transgender woman known as Miss CoCo, 44, was shot to death Saturday at a homeless encampment in downtown Dallas, becoming at least the 34th trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming person to die by violence in the U.S. this year.
The shooting happened shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, Dallas's NBC affiliate reports.
Miss CoCo was often seen in encampment areas with others who were experiencing homelessness, the organization Nu Trans Movement noted in a Facebook post. The post described her as "a well-known small girl with a big, bubbly personality" who "was a happy person & proud to be living her truth."
The Dallas Police Homicide Unit is investigating her death as a hate crime unless evidence to the contrary emerges. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Frank Serra at (214) 671-4320 or email@example.com, or Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-TIPS (8477). The case number is 141396-2021.
"We continue to witness a high level of violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming people, especially Black and brown trans women," Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign's Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a news release. "We urgently need action to stop the violence and stigma against trans and gender-nonconforming people. Everyone must speak up and get involved in their communities to work to bring this violence to an end."
There were 44 trans Americans known to have died by violence in 2020, the most in a single year since activists and media began keeping track. This year is likely to exceed that record. There are likely many more deaths that go unacknowledged in any given year, as victims are often misgendered by police or media, or their deaths not reported at all.