Authorities are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the shooting death of a transgender woman in the East Hollywood section of Los Angeles earlier this month during what police say was a "robbery gone wrong."
Surveillance video recorded near the crime scene shows the victim, 47-year-old Aniya Parker, struggling with two or three men as they allegedly tried to take her purse, which contained $24, according to the Los Angeles Times. Police say Parker was at the corner of Melrose and North Kenmore avenues just before 3 a.m. October 2 when she was shot in the head while trying to flee the scene after the altercation.
Officials are also seeking a possible witness seen talking with Parker shortly before the incident.
“This is one of those unfortunate crimes that we’re going to solve with the community’s help,” Los Angeles Police Department Rampart Division Capt. Brian Pratt told the Times.
Police have indicated they believe the suspects were looking to rob someone at random and did not target Parker because of her gender identity, but some Los Angeles LGBT activists are pressing for further investigation, noting that transgender women of color are especially at risk to be victims of bias-motivated violence.
“We believe it is very possible Ms. Parker was targeted because of her identity,” Christopher Argyros, the manager of the L.A. LGBT Center’s Anti-Violence Project, told the Times. “Transgender people are victims of crime all the time.”
Family and friends have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for funeral expenses.
Parker is the second transgender woman of color to be killed in Los Angeles since June and the at least the eighth nationwide this year, according to ColorLines.
Anyone with information related to the case has been asked to contact the LAPD’s Rampart Station.