February 7, 2012 at 9:25 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Tuesday vigil set for slain trans woman

Friends and family members of a transgender woman who was fatally stabbed last Thursday at a bus stop in Northeast Washington are joining LGBT activists in holding a candle light vigil today to reflect on her life.

Organizers said the vigil for Deoni Jones, 23, was scheduled to be held 5:30 p.m. today at the intersection of East Capitol and Sycamore Streets, N.E., next to the Metro bus stop where police say an unidentified male attacked her with a knife.

“Please join the family, friends, and LGBT community at the site where Deoni lost her life senselessly,” said transgender activist Earline Budd, an official with the local group Transgender Health Empowerment.

Police said a witness flagged down a Metro transit police officer about 8:15 p.m. on Feb. 2 on the 4900 block of East Capitol Street to report an altercation between Jones and the unidentified attacker. According to a police statement, Jones was unconscious when emergency medical technicians arrived minutes later.

She was pronounced dead at 2:35 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3, after being taken to a nearby hospital, police said.

Police, who released a description of the attacker and a video showing him from a distance walking across a street, have appealed to the community for help in learning his identity.

Lt. Robert Adler, an official with the police Homicide Branch, said investigators are looking into whether the incident might be classified as a hate crime.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact police at 202-727-9099.

Download the flyer for the vigil here.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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