Police from Pennsylvania arrested and charged a man with murder Tuesday after admitting to the stabbing death of a transgender woman in North Philadelphia.
It was reported this week Banks was stabbed twice in the back and once in the neck shortly after midnight Monday, according to police. Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said an argument broke out between Banks and her attacker, which escalated from a verbal argument to a physical fight and ended with Banks being stabbed to death.
Banks was found outside of an abandoned house where she was staying.
Police said there was a third person at the time of the incident, who witnessed the attack and helped carry Banks from the third-floor room where she was stabbed to outside the house.
According to Philadelphia Inquirer, Felton was identified by a witness and taken into custody. Police said Felton admitted to the killing, though authorities are still unsure what sparked the argument between Felton and Banks.
News of her death shook the local LGBT community as well as Banks' friends and family. Naiymah Sanchez, director of the Trans Information Project, told the newspaper Banks was a "social butterfly."
"She had a beautiful smile," Sanchez said. "She was a beautiful person."
Sanchez also said Felton was dating one of Banks' housemate. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Banks was staying in the abandoned house with two other women when she was stabbed.
"It's so sad. She was so young. She had potential," Sanchez told the newspaper.
Banks' friend, Kione Seymone, told local news station WCAU Banks "had a heart of gold" and they were "trans sisters" who "shared a bond no one could understand."
Banks, a Texas native, came to Philadelphia several years ago and spent time living at Covenant House, a youth center, friends told WCAU. Banks' mother, Veronica Allen, said her daughter's transition was hard on their relationship but they were able to reconnect in March and she was looking forward to Chanel moving home.
"She was going to go to court to change her name and then she was going to come home," Allen said. "That's what we were working towards, but that man took it away from me."
Banks is the eighth transgender woman of color to be killed this year, BuzzFeed reports.
A candlelight vigil in Chanel's memory is scheduled for Friday evening in Philadelphia.
From our media partner EDGE