DETROIT, MI – A killer is on the loose in one area of Detroit and they are targeting transgender women.
The term “transgender woman” refers to “people who were assigned male at birth but identify and live as a woman,” according to GLAAD, as was pointed out when this article was written and published. We stand corrected and will try to do better upon any further articles.
All four targets are transgender women. The first that can be attributed to these crimes happened in November of 2013. The 53-year-old transgender woman was found on November 8th, 2013 shot to death and burned beyond recognition in a black trash container in an alley behind a bar near 6 Mile and Woodward. The body was discovered by a mother and son looking for bottles and scraps in trash cans.
On November 15th, 2013, Equality Michigan, an organization that advocates for the LGBTQ community, expressed outrage over the murder and they called for an investigation into the disturbing criminal act.
In a press release at the time, Yvonne Siferd, director of victim services for Equality Michigan, said “The undignified way in which her body was dumped speaks to the larger issue of anti-transgender hostility in our society, and the vast amount of work we, as supporters of the LGBT communities, have in front of us. We know that transgender women of color are the most disproportionately affected by violence and hate against the LGBT communities, and this latest incident is a tragic reminder of that reality.”
The second murder occurred on Friday, August 15th, 2014. Around 7 a.m. Detroit police responded to a call from Palmer Park and found the body of a transgender woman lying face up in the parking lot of the water park at 6 Mile and Woodward. The victim had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The suspected shooter fled the scene, but crashed his car before fleeing on foot. Police recovered a gun at the crash scene.
Two other transgender women were shot since Friday, including a 20 year old and 25 year old. Both survived. Police are not releasing any identities of the victims and there have been no arrests in connection to any of the crimes.
Detroit Police have confirmed the two most recent shootings are transgender women. Police are unable to rule out a hate crime making it probable someone took issue with the victims appearance.
Palmer Park is located along Woodward Avenue, between 6 and 7 Mile. The area east to John R and up to 8 Mile is a well known popular gathering place for transgender women and young gay men. Many in the LGBTQ community live there and some work the streets to survive day to day.
“For now, in this area, a killer is on the loose.”
Many people travel to and from the Detroit area. There are still the many that live closeted life styles. No matter who you are, what you are or where you live, you have the right to live without fear. All of that makes this information even more important that it get in front of as many as quickly as possible because it could save a life and maybe catch a killer.
All to often this type of information does not get to people in time and they become the next victim.
What is important is that the LGBTQ community is on alert.
Any further developments concerning this issue will be published as quickly as possible. We will continue to stay on top of this.
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If you have any information, you can submit an ANONYMOUS tip to Crime Stoppers. Your information could be eligible for a Cash Reward.
To submit an ANONYMOUS tip:
Call: 1-800-SPEAKUP (1-800-773-2587)
Text: CSM and your tip to CRIMES (274637)
Anyone with information on these crimes can also call Detroit police at 313-596-1616