TeeTee Dangerfield, 32, was fatally shot in Georgia early Monday morning, making her the 16th transgender woman killed in the U.S. so far this year.
The police are investigating the shooting that took place outside an apartment complex in College Park, a suburb of Atlanta. College Park Police Major Lance Patterson told The Atlanta Journal Constitution there was no evidence TeeTee was killed because she was transgender.
"Although details are still unfolding, we cannot ignore that gun violence remains a threat to the lives of many marginalized Americans, including those who are transgender,” said Valerie Charles, a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America spokeswoman, in a news release.
At least 15 other transgender women have been killed in 2017, all of whom have been women of color, according to GLAAD.
"The murder of TeeTee Dangerfield is a horrific example of the epidemic of violence facing transgender women — especially transgender women of color," Nick Adams, GLAAD's director of Transgender Media & Representation, told Refinery29. "Targeting people just because they are transgender is a unacceptable — and has the added effect of terrorizing an entire community. We mourn with TeeTee's family and the trans community in Atlanta."
Transgender women, and trans women of color especially, face much higher rates of violence than other groups. In fact, 9% of transgender people reported being physically attacked in the previous year because of their gender identity in a 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality. And a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Trans People of Color Coalition study found that trans women face 4.3 times more risk of being murdered compared to cis women in the U.S., and at least 87% of trans people murdered from 2013 to 2015 were people of color.
The HRC and Trans People of Color Coalition study says, "There is no simple answer to stopping violence against transgender people and there are many barriers to overcome. But that cannot — and must not — be an excuse for inaction."