Another Black trans woman has lost her life due to a fatal shooting which took place on Sunday.
Michelle Washington, a North Philadelphia resident in her 30’s “suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head, body and buttock, according to police,” the Philadelphia Gay News reports. Police responded to the scene of the crime around 5:07 a.m.
Washington was taken to Temple University Hospital where she was pronounced dead 26 minutes later at 5:33 a.m.
No arrests have been made in Washington’s tragic death which is being investigated by the Philadelphia Police Department’s homicide division. However, Philadelphia Police Department Captain Sekou Kinebrew told Philadelphia Gay News that police believe Washington’s death stemmed from a robbery where she did not know her attacker.
“However, the investigation is still in the early stages, and it would be premature to rule out the possibility of a hate crime,” Kinebrew said.
Washington had different monikers including Michelle Simone and Tamika, according to Philadelphia City Council at-large candidate Deja Lynn Alvarez who spoke with the outlet.
“It’s very important that we stress that because we’re not seeing LGB people murdered every other day,” Alvarez said. “It’s time that we say this is happening to trans women, it’s happening to black trans women, it’s happening to trans women of color. …It’s time that we shift the focus to that.”
Washington was studying nursing at the Community College of Philadelphia, according to her Facebook page and was a beloved member of her community. Alvarez described her as having a “no-nonsense attitude.”
Washington’s death marks the fourth time a Black trans woman has been murdered in 2019 and is the second Black trans woman from Philadelphia who was murdered following the shooting death of Shante Tucker in 2018. On Saturday, almost 1,500 miles away, Muhlaysia Booker, a Black trans woman was shot and killed just one month after she was the victim of a vicious attack caught on camera.
Black trans lives are under attack at an insufferable rate, specifically Black trans women. Black trans women account for a majority of the trans deaths in 2018, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Hate crimes against the trans community have seen a 42 percent increase from 2016 to 2017, according to a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.