The number of transgender or non-conforming people killed this year rises to 34 — with a total number of 44 in 2020.
Taya Ashton, a Black trans woman, was 20 years old when she was shot and killed in Suitland, Maryland July 17, according to WTOP. She was found dead in her own apartment.
A man suspected of shooting her, 27-year-old DeAllen Price, was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree murder a day after.
The police said they found no evidence suggesting Ashton’s murder was related to her gender identity.
According to social media, friends and family held a vigil and balloon release to remember Ashton.
Shai Vanderpump, who was known as a “fierce LGBTQ advocate,” was found shot in the face in Trenton, New Jersey July 30. She was a 23-year-old Black transgender woman.
Daniel L. Smith, 36, called 911 after shooting her and was arrested and charged with her murder, according to The Trentonian.
Although a motive for the murder hasn’t been released yet, according to a GoFundMe page, Vanderpump died protecting a loved one.
Vanderpump was remembered for her “style [and] love of family,” as someone who had a “heart of gold” and who “loved to dress, smile and see everyone happy and smiling.”
Aidelen Evans, a 24-year-old Black trans woman, was found dead in March, police didn’t begin to investigate her death as a homicide until July.
Evans’ body was discovered in a canal in Port Arthur, Texas. Through investigation, the police suspected foul play and that she was probably killed in Beaumont, according to Port Arthur News. They have not released a cause of death.
“My child was loving. My child was very happy. My child lived in her truth every day,” Joy Griffin said according to The Advocate.