A Black transgender woman was shot and killed on the streets of Dallas earlier this year, but her death went unreported in the larger LGBTQ+ community when she was misgendered in initial media reports.
LaKendra Andrews, 26, was found by officers of the Dallas Police Department suffering from at least one gunshot wound just after 8:35 a.m. April 29, according to CBS Texas. Dallas Fire-Rescue was called to the scene on the 200 block of S. Jim Miller Road, but Andrews succumbed to her injuries and was declared dead.
Andrews was a native of Shreveport, La., before later moving with her family to Texas, according to Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents and Nu Trans Movement. She attended James Madison High School and Dallas College’s Eastfield Campus and was interested in baking, cooking, dance, drawing, and music. Andrews was reportedly a big fan of Nicki Minaj, and ran her own nonprofit.
“LaKendra was proud of her identity, describing herself as a ‘beautiful single trans woman.’ Her life was violently stolen from her at such a young age, and it is terrible that we are only learning of her death just days before this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign's Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a statement. “Law enforcement has a duty not to deadname or misgender transgender and gender non-conforming people. LaKendra deserved to live, and she deserves to be honored in death. We must all strive to create communities where transgender and gender non-conforming people are safe, respected, and valued.”
Andrews is one of more than 20 trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming people who have died by violence in the U.S. this year. Most of them have been women of color.
Since it began tracking violent deaths of trans people in 2013, HRC has found that 69.5 percent of those victims were killed with a gun. Gun violence was also the cause of death for 57.5 percent of those who were killed by a current or former intimate partner, and 76 percent of Black trans women.
The investigation into her killing remains open. Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact Dallas Police at (214) 671-3632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reference case No. 072504-2023. People can submit tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-8477. There is a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.
The Advocate has reached out to the Dallas Police Department for any update on the case.