35-year-old trans woman, Tonya Harvey has become the third trans person to be killed this year.
Harvey was gunned down last week in Buffalo, New York, which took place on Shepard Street. As police arrived at the scene, they first identified Harvey as a male before she was then correctly identified and their initial statement was changed.
“The Erie County District Attorney’s Office, along with Buffalo Police, is investigating the death of a transgender woman killed on Shepard Street,” a spokeswoman, Kait Munro for the office said in a statement to the Huffington Post. “The DA’s Office is also extremely concerned about a spike in homicides of transgender people across the country and will be, as part of this investigation, looking into whether or not this is a potential hate crime.”
There is an ongoing investigation into the killing, and her murder is being treated as a possible hate crime. At this time, no suspect has been identified.
According to GLAAD's homepage, the following murders of transgenders have taken place in 2018.
- Celine Walker was killed on February 4 in Jacksonville, Flordia, but due to misgendering by police and the media, she was not identified as a transgender woman until February 9. She was 36 years old.
- Tonya Harvey, also known as Kita, was killed on February 6 in Buffalo, New York. She was 35 years old.
- Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien was killed on January 5 in North Adams, Massachusetts. She was 42 years old.
- Viccky Gutierrez was killed on January 10 in Los Angeles, California.
Victims of anti-transgender violence are overwhelmingly transgender women of color. Last year alone, there were 27 deaths of transgender people with much more suspected as some homicides may not have been identified as hate crimes.