LGBTQ organizations in Washington, D.C. held a vigil Tuesday evening in honor of Ashanti Carmon, a Black transgender woman who was found dead from gunshot wounds early Saturday morning in Prince George’s County, Md.
Police Chief Stephen Watkins confirmed that there were no immediate suspects, and the department has yet to determine a motive.
Carmon’s fiancé, Phillip Williams, is heartbroken over the senseless tragedy, telling told NBC Washington that “She did not deserve to leave this earth so early, and especially in the way she went out — she did not deserve that.”
Williams shared with the outlet that he and Carmon had a dinner and a movie date on Friday night, and afterward she hit the town with friends while he went to work. He didn’t hear from his beloved after that.
“Until I leave this world, I’m going to continue on loving her in my heart body and soul,” he said.
Monica Roberts, creator of the TransGriot blog, noted that violence against transgenders ramps up in warmer temperatures.
“When the weather warms up, the anti-trans violence incidents rise along with the warmer temperatures,” said Roberts, whose blog tracks the killing of transgender people, wrote.
The past two years reportedly had record levels of violence against transgender women, according to a 73-page report from the Human Rights Campaign’s 2018 publication on anti-transgender violence, titled “A National Epidemic.”
The study found that victims of violence are often young, mostly female-identified and Black. TransGriot noted that at least 25 trans people were killed in 2018, the majority were Black and or Latina.
Camron is reportedly the second transgender casualty this year, after 31-year-old Dana Martin was fatally shot in Alabama in January. No arrests have been made in her murder.
In a statement released to WUSA9, the LGBT community said: “The Transgender community and other local LGBTQ organizations joins the Carmon family and friends in mourning this senseless loss. Her murder reminds us all of how often the transgender community is targeted for violence in our society.”
Supporters also noted how vital it is “that each of us works to eradicate transphobia on a personal and societal level,” read the statement.