Nine Trans People Have Been Killed in the U.S. This Year
The strangling death of 26-year-old Carla Patricia Flores-Pavón last week is the ninth known murder of a transgender person in the U.S. this year. The Human Rights Campaign has tracked violence against trans people and non-binary people since 2013. Last year, at least 28 transgender people were killed, a record since tracking began.
These are the nine transgender victims of fatal violence in 2018:
Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, was known throughout her North Adams, Massachusetts community as an activist. She founded and organized the Miss Trans New England pageant. She was found stabbed and beaten to death in her home on January 5. Her husband, Mark Steele-Knudslien, 47, was charged with the crime.
Viccky Gutierriez, 33, from Honduras, was a member of TransLatin@ Coalition’s Los Angeles organization. She was stabbed to death before her home was set on fire on January 10. Kevyn Ramirez, 29, faces the possibility of life in prison for the crime.
Tonya Harvey, 35, was shot to death in Buffalo, New York on February 6. Police initially identified Harvey as male before releasing an updated report. They are now investigating the murder as a possible hate crime.
Celine Walker, 36, was found dead from a gunshot wound in a Jacksonville, Florida hotel on February 4. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office misgendered Walker at first, claiming they do not identify victims as transgender. Authorities are still looking for a suspect.
Zakaria Fry, 28, and roommate Eugene Ray, 70, went missing from their New Mexico home in mid-January. Their bodies were discovered 40 miles outside of Albuquerque on February 19. Charles Spiess, 32, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder.
Phylicia Mitchell, 45, was shot to death outside her home in Cleveland, Ohio on February 23. On April 10, Cleveland.com reported that Gary Sanders, 36, was charged with aggravated murder in Mitchell’s death. The slaying is believed to be drug-related. "She was a good person,” her longtime partner Shane Mitchell told the Cleveland press. “Even though she had a drug problem, she's a good person. She got mixed up with the wrong people.”
Amia Tyrae Berryman, 28, was fatally shot in a Baton Rouge, Louisiana hotel March 26. Police have no suspects at this time. Local TV station WBRZ-TV 2 misgendered Berryman when first reporting the crime.
Sasha Wall, 29, was found dead from multiple bullet wounds in her still-running car on Easter Sunday in the sandhills of South Carolina. No arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation, but local media have reported a lead. Local station WSOC-TV misidentified Wall as male.
Carla Patricia Flores-Pavón, 26, was fatally strangled in her Dallas apartment on May 9. A man was seen leaving her apartment shortly before she was found. A source told local station CBS 11 the victim had recently connected with a man in a chat room. An investigation is underway. Dallas police say there is no evidence of a hate crime.
Seven of these women were women of color. Violence disproportionately impacts trans people of color, who are uniquely vulnerable due to a struggle for basic living needs like employment, housing and healthcare in the crosshairs of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.