MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A transgender woman was gunned down near her home on Sept. 5.
WREG, a Memphis television station, reported that Alejandra Leos was shot to death in north Memphis.
“We’re all still in shock,” Leos’ friend, Melisa Smith, told the television station.
WREG on Sept. 7 reported that Memphis police arrested Marshall Pegues and charged him with first-degree murder. The television station cited a police report that indicates Pegues had an argument with Leos before he fatally shot her in the back.
Leos is the latest trans woman to have been reported murdered in the U.S. in recent months. A trans woman was shot to death in a Detroit park on Aug. 15. The murders of Kandy Hall and Mia Henderson in Baltimore in June and July respectively have left trans women in Maryland’s largest city on edge.
Police in Fort Myers, Fla., on June 19 found Yaz’min Shancez’s burned body behind a local business. Tiffany Edwards, a trans woman of color, was shot to death in a Cincinnati suburb a few days later.
Authorities in Anaheim, Calif., in June found Zoraida Reyes, an LGBT and immigrant rights advocate, dead behind a local fast food restaurant.
“We are enraged after the death of another transgender woman of color, the seventh such homicide of a transgender or gender non-conforming person nationally since the beginning of June,” said Osman Ahmed of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “Intimate partner violence is a present and deadly issue in LGBTQ communities, and transgender and gender non-conforming people face unique and disproportionately severe forms of intimate partner violence. This crisis demands a remedy.”