A Black transgender woman was murdered outside of Washington, D.C., in the early hours of Saturday, ABC7 reports. Although authorities have not released the name of the victim yet, family members have identified her as Ashanti Carmon. The murder, which marks the second reported time a trans person has been killed this year, took place on the eve of Transgender Day of Visibility.
Authorities responded to reports of shots fired around 6 a.m. Saturday near the D.C. city limits. Carmon was found on the Maryland side of Eastern Avenue and declared dead at the scene. It's unclear why she was there, and police have not identified a suspect or motive yet. The investigation is being conducted by Maryland's Prince George’s County.
Carmon's fiancé Phillip Williams told NBC Washington they had gone to dinner and a movie on Friday night, before he went to work and Carmon went out with friends. He was distraught by the death of Carmon, his partner of six years. “Until I leave this Earth, I’m going to continue on loving her in my heart, body, and soul,” Williams told the outlet. “She did not deserve to leave this Earth so early, especially in the way that she went out. She did not deserve that.”
A 31-year-old transgender woman named Dana Martin was shot and killed in Alabama in January. Transgender women, particularly those who are women of color, face disproportionately high levels of violence. A major problem when tracking their cases is the misgendering of victims, particularly in media reports. According to a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation report on violence against transgender people, at least 22 were killed between January and November 2018. The organization said 82% of them were women of color. The final tally of trans women murdered in 2018 would go up to 24, according to TransGriot reporter Monica Roberts.