A transgender woman was beaten by five or six men and then shot to death in Philadelphia, police say.
Kiesha Jenkins, 22, of North Philadelphia, was found on the sidewalk after the attack and later died at a local hospital, police told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jenkins Was Dropped Off by a Car Before She Was Assaulted
Police said Jenkins was dropped off at 13th and Winghocking streets at about 2:30 a.m., by an unknown person in a car. She was attacked soon after by five or six men, who surrounded her and beat her, police told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
One of the attackers pulled out a gun and shot her in the back twice. Detectives are reviewing surveillance footage from the area, police said.
The person who dropped Jenkins off has not yet come forward, police said.
2. Police Do Not Know Yet If the Attack Was a Hate Crime
Police said it is too early to know the motive for the attack, according to WPVI-TV.
“Right now we don’t have any motive. We don’t know if it’s potentially a hate crime, if it was a robbery, we really don’t know; it’s too early in the investigation to tell,” Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark told the news station.
He said police do not believe Jenkins knew her attackers or had any contact with them before she was assaulted.
Clark said police told Jenkins’ family that they will do everything in their power to find her killers.
3. She Was a Philadelphia Native & Attended Temple University
Jenkins is a Philadelphia native and attended Temple University, according to Philadelphia Gay News. She graduated from West Philadelphia High School.
Arielle Page, an 18-year-old friend of Jenkins who is also transgender, told the Philadelphia Inquirer Jenkins was there for her when she came out. She said Jenkins had an “energetic spirit,” and “she had her witty ways. She was wild in a good way. You wanted to be around her.”
Page said of her friend’s death, “that could have been me.”
4. There Have Been At Least 20 Transgender Women Killed This Year
There have been at least 20 transgender women killed in the United States so far this year, according to an August report by Fusion. That is up from 12 in 2013.
In May, a 21-year-old transgender woman, London Banks, also known as Londyn Chanel, was stabbed to death in Philadelphia. Raheam Felton was charged in the crime, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The motive was said to be an argument. He was dating one of her roommates.
Nellie Fitzpatrick, the Philadelphia mayor’s liaison to the gay community, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Jenkins’ death is, “a tremendous and tragic loss for the entire city, our LGBT community, and, more specifically, our trans community.”
Fitzpatrick said, “This type of wicked, inhumane violence just has no place here. We can’t take anymore. It’s just too much.”
5. She Is Being Remembered & Mourned on Social Media
Jenkins is being mourned and remembered on social media using #SayHerName, which calls attention to the killings of trans women, especially those of color, in the United States.
“The violence against the trans community, specifically trans women of color, is an absolute, widespread national problem,” Nellie Fitzpatrick told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “And the problem isn’t solved by solving each homicide after it happens. The solution is in our society – making sure that any level of stigma or lack of access is completely eliminated for everyone.”
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