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Trans Woman in Critical Condition After Attack in Philadelphia

Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia

The assailant used homophobic slurs before pistol-whipping the trans woman, and he shot her two companions.

A Philadelphia transgender woman is hospitalized in critical but stable condition after being pistol-whipped Sunday morning by an attacker who used homophobic slurs, and police are investigating the matter as a hate crime.

She and two cisgender women -- her sister and a friend -- were attacked about 4:30 a.m. by a man with whom they're argued earlier, TV station WPVI reports. The trans woman's companions were both shot, one in the arm and the other grazed in the head. Both were also hospitalized and are listed in stable condition.

The assailant waited for them to emerge from a building in Philly's Kensington neighborhood, according to WPVI. "The man waited outside by the car for well over an hour for them to come outside," Philadelphia trans activist Deja Alvarez told the station. Another station, WPY, said the women were coming out of an underground hookah lounge.

Alvarez provided the information that the trans woman was pistol-whipped; other reports simply said she was beaten, without going into detail.

Mayor Jim Kenney's office issued this statement to WPVI: "The Philadelphia Police Department is investigating this heinous incident. Any acts of hate or intolerance are unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Philadelphia. The City's Office of LGBT Affairs is working with partners to remain briefed on this incident and remain available for support."

Trans people face high rates of violence, some of it fatal. Fifteen trans people are known to have died by violence in the U.S. this year, following a year that saw a record 57 such deaths reported.

Philadelphia police ask that anyone with information about the attack call (215) 686-TIPS.

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