Another black trans woman fatally shot in suspected hate crime

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On Thursday night, 21-year-old trans woman Zella Ziona was found in an alley after having been shot in the head. This is the second time this month that a trans woman has been killed.

Authorities in Montgomery Village, Maryland, are still investigating Ziona’s death and have not yet determined if it was a hate crime. “We are not ruling out the possibility that this could be hate-based,” Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said.

A witness to the killing described hearing four or five gunshots after Ziona had been arguing with a group of teenagers. “They argued and things happened so fast,” he said. “I don’t know what they argued for.”

According to The Advocate, Ziona’s death makes her one of 21 transgender women killed in the US thus far, though that figure is likely lower than reality, as sometimes family members do not report that the person killed was transgender. What’s more, at least 17 of those deaths were women of color.