A transgender woman was found shot to death in late September in Birmingham, Ala., and the number of known murders of transgender people this year is officially the highest ever.
The victim, initially misgendered by police and media, was found dead at the Kings Inn in Birmingham September 23. Her sister identified her as Jazz Alford, 30, of High Point, N.C. Like many trans murder victims, she was African-American.
“Her death was a huge hit for the LGBT community,” her sister Toya Milan, also a transgender woman, told AL.com, a website for several Alabama newspapers. “There was another transgender shot multiple times somewhere else recently. People think transgenders are monsters, when really we just want to be accepted.”
Milan further said of her sister, “She was such a loving person, and we didn’t know anybody that would want to hurt her. It’s been a hard pill to swallow.”
Alford is the 22nd transgender person known to have been murdered in 2016, surpassing 2015’s total of 21. This, however, does not include those whose deaths have not been reported or who have been misgendered.
Police are questioning a man in connection with the recent shooting of another trans woman in Birmingham, and they are trying to determine if he was involved in Alford’s death, they told AL.com. The second woman, who was shot in the face but survived, was attacked Monday during a home invasion.
The woman, whose name has not been released, was on the porch of her home screaming “Help me!” when her boyfriend, Darius Foster, came back from shopping about 10 a.m., AL.com reports. The victim, 24, was conscious but not responsive when police arrived. She was taken to UAB Hospital, on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. AL.com was not able to obtain information on her condition.
Foster arrived home in time to see the attacker flee the scene in a white truck, and he told the website he believes the assailant was the same man who robbed a friend of the couple’s at a motel in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham. A gun was stolen in the Homewood incident, and Foster said he thinks that gun was used to shoot his girlfriend, who was also robbed of cash and credit cards.
[RELATED: These Are the Trans People Killed in 2016]