Baltimore police are appealing for help from the public in their investigation into the Nov. 26 shooting death of a transgender woman who was found unconscious on a street after neighbors called police to report a shooting.
Police spokesperson T.J. Smith told the Baltimore Sun in an interview recorded on video that a transgender woman was found unconscious on the side of a street on the 2400 block of Guilford Avenue about 4:15 a.m. on Monday. He said the woman was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.
“At this time we don’t have a lot to go on,” Smith said in the interview. “We know there was some sort of argument that took place and during that argument it looks like a person – one individual – pulled out a gun and shot the female and left her on the side of the road.”
Added Smith, “What we know is a dark colored vehicle left the scene at a high rate of speed.” He said police were withholding the identity of the victim pending notification of next of kin.
In a Facebook posting, the Baltimore Transgender Alliance identified the murdered woman by the first name Tydi.
“We deeply mourn the passing of Tydi and send our condolences to her family, friends, and the entire transgender and gender non-conforming community throughout Maryland and beyond,” the group said in its posting.
It said a vigil would be held in Tydi’s honor on Friday, Nov. 30 at a location and time to be announced.
Smith said a police official informed members of the department’s LGBT Advisory Committee about the murder in a conference call this week.
“And there is going to be some outreach to the advocacy groups in reference to this,” he said.
“Obviously, when we’re talking about a murder of a transgender person – that’s a Baltimore community that has had some issues in the past,” he said. “And right now we’re trying to figure out what precipitated this murder.”
Smith urged anyone with information that could help police find the person responsible for the murder to call the police homicide office at 410-396-2199 or send a text tip at 443-902-4824.
News of the transgender woman’s murder follows the Nov. 8 murder of a Baltimore gay man who was found dead in his apartment on Saint Paul Street. A homicide detective told the Washington Blade that police ruled the death of Brendon Michaels, 43, a “homicide from trauma.”
Baltimore police were also seeking information from the public in their investigation into the Michaels’ murder, which remained unsolved as of Thursday.