A North Charleston, South Carolina, community is heartbroken after police discovered the body of Denali Berries Stuckey, a 29-year-old Black trans woman, on Saturday morning around 4:05 a.m.
Stuckey succumbed from a gunshot wound and was found on the shoulder of a local highway. Police were initially responding to a call involving a car and a pedestrian according to WCSC.
Stuckey is the the 12th Black trans woman to be killed in the United States this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Stuckey is the third trans woman to be murdered within the last year in South Carolina, The Post and Courier reports.
Police are working to piece together what resulted in Stuckey’s death. At the time of report no leads or arrests have been made, according to North Charleston Police Deputy Chief Scott Deckard.
“All lives are precious, regardless of person’s race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, exceptionalities or genetic information,” began a statement from North Charleston city spokesperson Ryan Johnson.
“The motives of the death of Denali Berries Stuckey are still being investigated, but we hope that through this tragic act, greater awareness is gained of the continuing discrimination and harassment of the LGBTQ community, and hope that one day, our society will achieve true full acceptance of all,” he continued.
The Alliance For Full Acceptance, in conjunction with other LGBTQI advocacy groups such as Charleston Pride, We Are Family, Charleston Area Transgender Support, Charleston Black Pride, SC Equality held a vigil for Stuckey on Monday evening, WCSC reports.
At the vigil her loved ones remembered her as a kind and loving woman who gave her all to her family and friends.
“She was always a nurturing person. A very sweet person. Any anniversary, any birthday, event, anything representing or celebrating you, she was always there,” Stuckey’s friend Mercdeas Arline told WCSC.
“I feel some type of way because I know she’s not going to be here no more, and I won’t be able to hear her laugh,” said Arline. “And, she had this distinctive laugh that I swear keeps playing in my head.”
May her family and loved ones be comforted in this difficult time and may Stuckey’s spirit rest in peace.