Ashanti Carmon, a black transgender woman, was found dead from gunshot wounds early Saturday morning in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Officers responded around 6:30 a.m., just minutes after 911 switchboards lit up with calls reporting gunshots fired around Eastern Avenue, which is the border of Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, Fairmount Heights Police Chief Stephen Watkins said.
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Watkins said there were no immediate suspects.
Carmon's fiancé, Phillip Williams, told NBC Washington that he and Carmon had gone out for dinner and a movie on Friday night, and afterward she went out with friends while he headed to work. He said he didn't hear from her after 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 told NBC Washington. "Until I leave this world, I’m going to continue on loving her in my heart body and soul."
Monica Roberts, the creator of TransGriot, a blog that tracks the killing of transgender people, wrote that spring and summer translate into greater risks for trans people.
“When the weather warms up, the anti-trans violence incidents rise along with the warmer temperatures,” Roberts wrote.
2017 and 2018 had record levels of violence against transgender women, according to the Human Rights Campaign’s 2018 publication on anti-transgender violence, “A National Epidemic.” The 73-page report found that anti-transgender violence victims are mostly young, mostly female-identified and mostly black. Of those killed, 82 percent of the victims were transgender women of color, and 64 percent were under the age of 35, the report said.