In 2016, the murders of 27 transgender people were reported, making it the deadliest year on record for trans people. Almost all of the victims were people of color, and the vast majority of those were black transgender individuals. This total includes two whose deaths have not been ruled homicides by law enforcement; their loved ones, however, believe they are homicide victims.
Given that grim reality, it's no wonder advocates continue to sound the alarm on what they call an epidemic of deadly transphobic violence. And while the world comes together every November 20 to commemorate the lives lost during the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, the fear and ignorance that fuel these fatal attacks heed no calendar.
Last year was previously the deadliest on record for transgender Americans, with at least 21 trans women killed in the U.S. alone. Notably, this number — and the number for 2016 — does not include individuals whose deaths were not reported or investigated, nor victims who were misgendered by police and media or simply not recognized as trans women in death.
In an effort to document and ultimately help end this fatal trend, The Advocate has collected information about each person's death — and the life they lived. Read on to learn more.
Cleis Abeni, Aashna Malpani, Mari Brighe, Trudy Ring, and Dawn Ennis contributed to this report.
India Monroe, 29, was found shot to death December 21, along with Mark Gray, 37, in a home in Newport News, Va. Local news reports at first identified Monroe as male, but friends confirmed that she was a trans woman. She was buried under her birth name, with her hair cut short and other facets of her appearance altered to make her look male, friends said.
“I know for a fact Monroe would not want to be buried that way,” Brittany Marquis told Mic. “She’d want to have her nails done, hair done, looking amazing, because that’s what she liked.”
Newport News police have ruled Monroe’s death a homicide but are investigating it as a domestic incident, not a hate crime.
Noony Norwood of Richmond, Va., was shot November 5 and died the next day — five days after her 30th birthday. Police are focusing their investigation on a man spotted near the scene of the crime.
Friends described Norwood as a vibrant presence. “Noony’s energy always brightened the room. She cared about her community and always lifted up and supported her friends and family,” Zakia McKensey, founder and executive director of Richmond nonprofit Nationz Foundation, told the Virginia Anti-Violence Project. Nationz Foundation is a health and wellness group that focuses on serving LGBT people.
Janet Wright, who calls herself Norwood’s aunt although they are not related, told Richmond TV station WWBT that Norwood was “a beautiful person” who “would give you anything, would help anybody without even a second thought.”
“She was a wonderful person, and they took somebody great from us, seriously,” Wright said.
Sierra Bush, who sometimes went by the name Simon, was a gender-fluid Boise State University student who often used gender-neutral pronouns. Bush's body was found near Idaho City, Idaho, October 22, after the teen had been missing for nearly a month. By early November, police still would say only that Bush's death was "suspicious." But Bush's stepfather, Bart Green, said he and his wife, Mary Helen, "have felt from the very beginning that this is an abduction." Bush's friends remembered the youth warmly. The teen's "quirkiness" and self-acceptance were "very refreshing and encouraging to the rest of us," said longime friend Samantha McGraw.
Brandi Bledsoe's body was found October 8, and her death was ruled a homicide five days later. She had been shot in the chest and had suffered trauma to her head as well. She had moved from Nebraska to Cleveland several years ago, and she was a Home Depot employee and animation artist. She came out to her family as transgender two years ago, and she was a much happier person afterward, relatives said.
"She wasn't very outgoing before she told us," her cousin John Craggett told Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer. "She just wasn't happy with who she was. When she told us, she was honestly a lot better as Brandi. She was happy." He added, "She was really beautiful. She was really sweet and nice. That's what bugs the crap out of me about this. Whoever did this can rot in hell."
Jazz Alford was found shot to death in a Birmingham motel September 23. She was initially misgendered by police and media, so it wasn't until the first week of October that her death was recognized as the 22nd reported slaying of a transgender person in the U.S. in 2016. Alford, who was from High Point, N.C., was "a loving person," said her sister Toya Milan, also a trans woman. Milan said she couldn't imagine why anyone would want to hurt her sister and that Jazz's death "was a huge hit for the LGBT community." Police are continuing to investigate.
Crystal Edmonds, a 32-year-old African-American trans woman, died of a gunshot to the back of her head September 16 in Baltimore. Police found her wounded and bleeding on a sidewalk about 3 a.m. and took her to a hospital, where she died eight hours later. Baltimore police are investigating her death as a homicide but have few leads in the case, so they are offering a cash reward of up to $2,000 for tips. They ask that anyone with information call Metro Crime Stoppers, (866) 756-2587, or submit tips online at MetroCrimeStoppers.org.
A trans woman so far identified only as T.T. was found dead, with her throat slit, the night of September 11 on the west side of Chicago. A knife was found near her body. The city's two daily papers, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, identified her as a man, but LGBT newspaper Windy City Times reported that she was well known on the west side as a trans woman. News outlets say she was in her late 20s or early 30s. Police are investigating her death as a homicide.
Lexxi T. Sironen
The body of transgender woman Lexxi T. Sironen was found September 6 in a reservoir of the Kennebec River in Waterville, Maine. She was a transient but not homeless, police said, staying with various friends and family members around the area. Police have not determined that her death was a homicide or released the results of an autopsy, but her friends told local media they suspect foul play. Jason Stephenson, who occupies Sironen's former apartment in Waterville, was beaten in a home invasion September 5, and he said he believes his attackers were looking for Sironen. He and other friends said they were sure Sironen would not have taken her own life. “She loved her life,” said longtime friend Chelsea Letourneau, who also described Sironen as someone who would "do anything for anybody." Stephenson added, "She had a good heart in her."
Rae'Lynn Thomas, 28, was shot and then beaten to death by her mother's ex-boyfriend in their Columbus, Ohio, home August 10, reports local TV station WBNS.
Shannon Thomas says she will remember her niece as a performer, a fashionista, and the life of the party. "[The killer] took a light away from all of us," she told WBNS. She believes the killing was a hate crime, and wants to see the man responsible "go to jail forever."
While Thomas's family was accepting of her authentic identity, an ex-boyfriend of her mother's who still lived with the women, James Allen Byrd, made no secret of his transphobic attitudes. He reportedly often referred to the transgender woman as "the devil."
Thomas's mother, Renee Thomas, was home at the time of her daughter's murder, and described the attack to police and media.
"He was in the bedroom and he just came around the corner and shot [Rae'Lynn],” she said. After firing at her twice, Byrd — who was nearly a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than the petite Thomas — proceeded to beat her with any heavy object handy.
Thomas says the last thing she heard was her daughter begging for her life, saying "Mom, please please don’t leave me. Mom, I’m dying."
Thomas called police and Byrd was arrested shortly thereafter. He has been charged with murder and is being held on a $2 million bond.
Erykah Tijerina, a 36-year-old transgender Latina, was found dead August 8 at her home in El Paso, Texas. Police found signs of foul play and are investigating her death as a homicide; they have released few other details. Tijerina, who was initially misgendered by news outlets, is the 18th trans person known to have been murdered in 2016.
Her sisters "say Tijerina was funny, giving and unapologetic about the person she was," reported a local TV station. “She’s the one that told me to stay strong and not care,” said one of them, Pearl Tijerina.
Skye Mockabee was found unresponsive in a parking lot around 8 a.m. on July 31 in Cleveland, Ohio, reports Cleveland.com. Mockabee had an apparent head-wound, and the individuals who found her called EMS. She was declared dead at the scene. She was 26 years old.
Police initially provided few details about Mockabee's death; no suspects were arrested, and no possible motive for her murder was given. Initial reports of Mockabee's death from police, the medical examiner, and local media all misgendered Mockabee and referred to her by her dead name, a situation that is all-too-common when the victims of violence are trans women. It was not released until Monday that Mockabee was trans.
Friends and family of Mockabee held a vigil on August 1 to honor her memory.
A registered nurse originally from Shubuta, Miss., Dee Whigham, 25, was found stabbed to death in a hotel room near Biloxi July 23, reports Gulfport's Sun Herald newspaper. She was reportedly in town with a group of friends to attend the Gulf Coast Black Rodeo at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
Two days after Whigham's body was found, Jackson County sheriff's deputies arrested 20-year-old Dwanya Hickerson, a U.S. Navy recruit originally from New Orleans, in connection with the crime. Hickerson has been charged with capital murder and robbery, though police would not disclose the nature of the robbery. He is being held without bond. If convicted of capital murder, Hickerson could face the death penalty.
Whigham had recently completed her nursing licensure, and since January worked as a registered nurse at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Miss. The hospital's CEO spoke fondly of the young woman in a statement to the Sun Herald.
"She will be remembered at Forrest Health as an excellent nurse who was well-loved by her patients," said Forrest Health CEO Evan Dillary. "I know Dee will be missed by her co-workers, supervisors, and the Forrest Health family."
Raquel Cooley, Whigham's cousin, told the Sun Herald that it was deeply unfair that her cousin's life had been taken. "[She] was a hard-working, kind-hearted person who was just starting [her] life who did not deserve this," Cooley said.
Whigham's sister Denisha also mourned the young nurse on social media. "I just can’t believe [she] is gone forever," she wrote. "I love you and you will be missed."
Deeniquia Dodds, a transgender woman of color from Washington, D.C., died July 13 after being shot in the neck by an unidentified attacker July 4 just a few blocks from her home, Washington, D.C. TV station WRC reports.
Dodds, known as Dee Dee to friends, was found by a pedestrian early in the morning of July 4 and was rushed to Prince George's Hospital Center, where she spent nine days on life support before succumbing to her injuries.There were no witnesses to her attack, and no arrests have been made.
Joeann Lewis, the aunt who raised Dodds, told the TV station that Dodds was a "beautiful person" who "loved to make you laugh. Loved to make you smile."
Initial police reports and news coverage of the attack on Dodds misgendered her, referring to her by her birth name and identifying her as male. It was not until Wednesday that there was any public mention of Dodds's trans identity. The fact that Dodds was a trans woman was first reported by the Washington Blade, after Earline Budd, a local transgender activist with the harm reduction organization HIPS, shared the information with the paper.
Budd said she had been informed unofficially of the attack on Dodds earlier in the week but decided to come forward after police failed to disclose the attack on the trans woman for more than a week, saying, "They need to put out the word to the community that this happened. Somebody may have seen something during that early part of the morning. They may have seen her with someone." Budd also shared concerns that unknown suspect could be targeting other area trans women, particularly sex workers.
Mic reports that Dodd was also involved with Casa Ruby, a D.C.–area LGBTQ advocacy organization. In statement to Mic, founder Ruby Coronado said, "Deeniquia was part of the Casa Ruby family, and she is gone, but not forgotten. Her death will not be in vain."
Read more about Dodds's life here.
This transgender woman of color was murdered June 5 in New Orleans, but in all the days since then, her birth name has been the only name used by police and a local newspaper to identify her. A black trans woman writer, Venus Selente, was the first to note the victim was trans and chose for her the name Goddess Diamond.
The burned body of the 20-year-old trans woman was found in a torched car on New Orleans's east side, but her death went unreported for four days. Diamond, who worked at Walmart, was reportedly headed to a friend's party in a borrowed car the night she was killed. According to the medical examiner, Diamond died of blunt force trauma before that car was set ablaze.
Police tell The Advocate they have no suspects and have made no arrests, but are working with the FBI to determine if her killer was motivated by her transgender identity and if her murder was the result of a hate crime.
Diamond was a native of New Orleans, but had only returned to the city in the last year after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Her mother, Antoinette, called her child "kind and loving" and told the newspaper that she "had a big heart." — Mari Brighe
A homeless transgender man died in an apparent homicide in Burlington, Vt. Amos Beede, 38, was found unconscious by police May 22. He suffered multiple blunt-force injuries to his head and body, and although doctors were initially hopeful that Beede might recover, his condition deteriorated through the week. He died on May 29.
According to the police report, Beede was found near a homeless encampment. Police are seeking two individuals as persons of interest in relation to the case, but no arrests have yet been made. In a press release, investigators indicated that no motive for the attack has been established yet, but the possibility that the assault was motivated by Beede's gender identity has not been ruled out. The Advocate’s calls to the investigating detective and community liaison, seeking further information, were not returned.
Amos Beede was originally from Milton, Vt., just north of Burlington, and graduated from Milton High School. In an interview with the Burlington Free Press, Matt Young, the street outreach coordinator with the Howard Center, a social services agency, described Beede as a friendly, talented artist and loyal, protective friend who made many close connections in the areas he frequented. Young said he sought out Beede as a helpful, reliable source of information on numerous topics, particularly local happenings and potential gaps in community services.
Beede was a regular visitor at the Vermont Pride Center, Burlington’s LGBT community center. Pride Center staff worked diligently to ensure that Beede was not alone after the attack and during his hospitalization, and to contact his family. They are currently planning ways to honor and remember Beede’s life. — Mari Brighe
A 32-year-old black transgender woman in Florida has become the 11th known transgender person killed in the U.S. this year.
Mercedes Successful, an active member of the LGBT community in Haines City, Fla., was found shot to death in a parking lot Sunday evening, reports Monica Roberts at TransGriot. Police are investigating her death as a homicide, but have not revealed a possible motive.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Successful was well known and active in the drag and pageant communities in Haines City, reports TransGriot.Autostraddle notes that Successful represented her home nation in the 2014 Gay Caribbean USA pageant and was remembered as a lively, fun-loving member of her local community.
Several local media reports on Successful’s death misgendered the victim, identifying her with male pronouns and a masculine name. A follow-up report published Tuesday by Lakeland newspaper The Ledger includes quotes from Successful’s friends confirming that she had recently begun a clinical transition to live full-time as her authentic self, but the article wholly avoids pronouns and uses the late performer’s given name to identify her throughout. In addition to needlessly noting that Successful was “not dressed like a woman when found,” the Ledger article indicates that police are not currently investigating the murder as a hate crime.
Anyone with information regarding the death of Mercedes Successful is asked to contact the Haines City Police Department at (863) 421-3636 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 226-TIPS.
Police were called to an apartment complex in southwest Wichita, Kan., at 9:30 p.m. May 1 due to reports of a domestic disturbance. Inside, officers discovered the body of 32-year-old Tyreece "Reecey" Walker, dead of apparent stab wounds.
Police arrested a 16-year-old boy, whose name has not been released due to his age, in connection with the crime. He is expected to be charged as a juvenile.
Sgt. Nikki Woodrow with the Wichita Police Department confirmed Walker’s death in a phone call with The Advocate. Woodrow also confirmed that Walker identified as a transgender woman who was known to friends and family as “Reecey,” and said the victim used male pronouns.
No potential motive for the killing has yet been announced, but police are investigating allegations made by the suspect’s family that Walker attempted to sexually assault the teen, Woodrow said. Asked if police were considering the possibility that Walker’s death was a hate crime, Woodrow said “absolutely not,” adding that there is no indication that the killing was motivated by bias.
A woman who identified herself to Wichita TV station KAKE as a friend of Walker's rejected the allegation that Walker had attempted to assault the teen, saying such a claim was "completely 100 percent out of character for Reece."
“[She] wanted to get a degree in psychology or social work to try to become a counselor to help other people try to get through some of the same struggles [she] had been through," the friend, identified only as Victoria, told the station. She added that Walker worked at the front office of the apartment complex where she lived and where she was found dead.
Social media posts made by those claiming to know Walker generally refer to the 32-year-old using male pronouns, sometimes calling the victim “TJ,” and fondly describe Walker as someone who “kept us laughing all the time.”
A GoFundMe page allegedly set up by friends to help Walker's family with funeral costs recalls that "Reese, 'like the candy,' as she introduced herself, was a loving, playful spirit who only wanted the best for others. She would have given her last piece of bread to make sure someone else was not hungry."
Police have ruled the death of Keyonna Blakeney, a 22-year-old transgender woman, a homicide. Her body was found April 16 at 11:50 a.m. in a room at a Red Roof Inn in Rockville, Md., reports local TV station WJLA.
According to the victim’s Facebook page, Blakeney worked as a makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics, studied at Bowie State University, lived in Washington, D.C., and is from Upper Marlboro, Md.
Find more information about Blakeney’s death here.
At 11:15 on the evening of April 10 at 11:15, Houston police discovered the bodies of black trans woman Shante Issac and her friend Willie Sims, dead from multiple wounds. Both were 34 years old.
Police initially believed that Isaac, who was reportedly on the phone with her mother moments before she was killed, had been shot to death. But upon further investigation, authorities concluded that Sims had been shot, likely in the course of trying to protect Issac. Issac died of blunt force trauma to the head, likely after being struck with a crowbar or similar object.
The murders, which occurred at the onset of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, have not been deemed a hate crime.
Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call (713) 222-TIPS.
The alleged gunman, a man in his 20s believed to be Yochum's ex-partner, shot the woman in the head during an apparent intimate partner dispute. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, outside the Gateway Apartments, where Yochum was living as she tried to build a new life for herself.
Despite the area's propensity for violent crime, an "angry mob" on Skid Row was shocked at the particularly "brazen" shooting of Yochum in broad dayligh, and rushed to surround the alleged shooter, reports Los Angeles TV station KNBC. After the mob intervened, a security guard took the suspect into custody until police arrived, officer Tony Im of the Los Angeles Police Department told the Los Angeles Times.
A 2012 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that transgender individuals are nearly two times as likely to face threats, harassment, and violence in intimate relations based on their gender identity. “Transgender people face increased risk of violence because of their gender identity and transphobia within intimate partnerships,” said Aaron Eckhardt, training and technical assistance director at Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization, in the report.
Friends and family of an Iowa teenager are still looking for answers about how the 16-year-old trans and gender-fluid high school student ended up dead of gunshot wounds in a dark alley near 11:30 p.m. on March 2.
Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson used two names and identified as both transgender and gender-fluid, according to family and friends interviewed by the Des Moines Register. Consequently, while the family’s obituary and news reports use masculine pronouns (which, by all accounts, the teenager did not repudiate), to affirm all of the individual’s experiences, the deceased is identified here with the gender-neutral pronoun “they.”
Police in Burlington, Iowa, found Johnson after responding to calls from neighbors, who said that they heard “five to six” gunshots fired in the area, reports local newspaper The Hawk Eye. No weapon was found, and while the police originally indicated they were following several leads, three individuals were detained and then released after questioning. No official cause of death has been released, and the Burlington Police Department did not respond to queries by press time.
Police detectives “went door-to-door,” according to The Hawk Eye, interviewing potential witnesses, but were only informed that two vehicles were seen speeding away from the area after the gunshots rang out into the night. Both vehicles — a white SUV and a blue van — are believed to be involved in the alleged homicide. But the police have not publicly announced a motive for the crime.
While police told the Register that they are using all of the department’s resources to solve the case, no movement has occurred in the investigation since Johnson’s killing. Police contend that no evidence exists to suggest that Johnson's killing was motivated by the teen's gender-fluid identity. But Johnson's mother told the Register she believes the taking of her child’s life is a hate crime based on the teen’s gender identity.
Johnson “had this beautiful smile,” Shaunda Campbell, a counselor at Burlington High School where Johnson was a junior, told the Register, noting that “there wasn’t a mean bone” in the teen’s body.
Johnson was an avid dancer, particularly at Maple Leaf Center, a community center in the South Hill neighborhood. The teen was also a burgeoning stylist who adored fashioning their hair in colorful coiffures. They also enjoyed “singing, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and surfing the Internet,” recalls the family’s obituary.
Although most of the victims of fatal anti-trans violence are women, transphobia kills trans men, too. Demarkis Stansberry, a 30-year-old black man of transgender experience, was shot to death on February 27 around 11:30 a.m. in Baton Rouge, La.
Stansberry was shot in the head by 24-year-old Nicholas Matthews, reports local newspaper The Advocate. Matthews reportedly turned himself in to local police the day of the shooting and confessed to killing Stansberry.
After finding Stansberry in the house, East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies pronounced him dead at the scene, according to KSLA, a TV station in Shreveport.
Matthews’s brother Frederick Matthews (who is allegedly a friend of Stansberry's) told KSLA that he visited his brother’s home with Stansberry days earlier to pick up DJ equipment. Frederick Matthews told the station that he was in another room when the shooting occurred. When questioned by police, the brother at first told them that he saw an unknown perpetrator running out of the home’s front door. But he later changed his story, alleging that his own brother shot Stansberry. He also told police that when he arrived at the home, he saw a handgun tucked into his brother’s waistband.
The suspect reportedly told police that he shot Stansberry by accident. Matthews said he believed his gun was empty, because he thought he had unloaded the entire clip on New Year's Eve. As a convicted felon, Matthews does not have the legal right to own a firearm.
Both KSLA and Louisiana’s Advocate report that the fatal shot was fired into Stansberry's skull at point-blank range and that Matthews was reportedly standing next to his victim when the shooting occurred.
In the wake of such reporting, some advocates took to social media to perform a kind of cultural recovery, correcting problematic usages and identifications of the deceased, seeking to humanize trans homicide victims.
The body of Maya Young, a 25-year-old black transgender woman, was found at 11:50 p.m on February 20.
Young was reportedly stabbed to death in the Frankford neighborhood of northeast Philadelphia, according to local TV station WPIV. Police rushed Young to the nearby Aria Health hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:21 a.m. No further information has been released about the homicide.
The Philadelphia Police Department is offering a $20,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest or conviction of Young's murderer. Anyone with such information may call the Homicide Unit at (215) 686-3334 or 911.
Friends and family are still seeking information in the death of Veronica Banks Cano, a black transgender woman in her mid-30s, who was found dead at 9 a.m. February 19. She was found fully clothed in a bathtub at a motel on the south side of San Antonio, according to TV station KABB.
Although no additional information about a possible suspect, motive, or cause of death has been released, police say they did question individuals who were in the hotel room.
A friend of Cano's named Beth Balderas has set up at GoFundMe page to gather donations for a proper burial for Cano and to assist her family in the wake of her death.
The first transgender man known to be killed this year was Kayden Clarke, age 24. He was shot to death in his home in Mesa, Ariz., by two police officers, February 4.
Clarke suffered from Asperger syndrome, a form of autism in which otherwise intelligent people may lack social skills and suffer from a range of atypical behavior. According to videos on YouTube and posts from Clarke's friends on Facebook, Clarke also allegedly suffered a history of physical and sexual abuse as a child that left him with post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation.
On the day of Clarke's death, Heather Allen, the founder of HALO Animal Rescue, a Phoenix organization where the young man had volunteered since the age of 13, called the police and asked them to perform a wellness check on Clarke. Allen believed that Clarke was in danger of killing himself. When police arrived at Clarke’s home, despite “carrying stun guns,” as the Associated Press reported, officers opened fire on Clarke.
Mesa Detective Esteban Flores said that Clarke lunged at the officers with a 12-inch kitchen knife and the officers felt so threatened that they chose to shoot Clarke to death instead of subdue him with their stun guns. Police have not disclosed how many shots were fired.
Even though the incident was not defused in a nonlethal manner, one officer had “training in crisis intervention to deal with such situations,” the AP noted. Both officers have been placed on desk duty pending an investigation, which is standard protocol for officer-involved shootings.
Friends describe Clarke as unusually gifted in the training of animals. Although misgendering her son, Clarke's mother told the New York Daily News that her child was a generous person who donated Christmas trees to people in need, despite being on a fixed income himself.
Police found the body of Jasmine Sierra, a transgender woman of color, January 22 in an apartment in Bakersfield, Calif., according to a report from local TV station KBAK. Sierra’s body showed signs of trauma, and foul play is suspected. It is still unknown whether police found the body in Sierra's home or a neighbor's.
Sierra's death was not initially included in preliminary tallies of trans people killed this year, since the local news report identified the victim by her male name and using male pronouns, a process trans advocates denounce as disrespectful "deadnaming" and misgendering.
“Jasmine you were a lovely and generous friend who I will greatly miss,” wrote John G. Juarez, the sole commenter on Sierra's public memorial page at the Bakersfield Green Lawn Cemetery. “Thank you for all the memories. I pray God comforts and protects your family during this time of mourning. RIP my beautiful friend.”
Austin police arrested 29-year-old JonCasey Rowell, who was subsequently charged with the murder. Rowell is currently being detained on a $250,000 bond, according to TV station KXAN.
Loera’s roommate told police that Rowell had been at the pair's apartment earlier the same evening, but then returned because he forgot something. Rowell “kept knocking on the door," prompting Loera to tell her roommate that she was going to "get rid of him" because the man was someone she “didn’t want to mess with.” When the victim went to to open the door, the roommate said he heard a sound like a firecracker and Loera shouted, “He shot me.’”
After the shooting, Loera was taken to the University Medical Center Brackenridge hospital, where she was pronounced dead. "The Travis County Medical Examiner ruled Loera's death a homicide,” notes Houston-based trans journalist Monica Roberts of TransGriot.
Friends told the Chronicle that Loera was a warmhearted woman who adored Madonna and loved to cook.