A transgender woman was killed in Fairmount Heights on Thursday.
Major Brian Reilly of the Prince George’s County Police Department told reporters during a press briefing on Friday that 911 received a call “for a check on the welfare” on the 600 block of 59th Avenue near Eastern Avenue just before midnight.
He said officers who responded to the scene found Zoe Spears, 23, “suffering from several gunshots” and pronounced her dead a short time later.
Casa Ruby CEO Ruby Corado in a Facebook post said Spears was “staying with us” at Casa Ruby until around two weeks ago. Corado also confirmed to the Washington Blade that Spears was trans.
“It’s hard,” said Corado, speaking through tears. “It’s hard because we just lost another life. We just lost another soul and it’s hard to be in their life and to be able to make sure they are fine and then they are gone.”
Earline Budd, a trans activist in D.C., on Saturday confirmed to the Blade that Spears had lived at Casa Ruby. Budd added Spears had recently moved into her own apartment and was working.
“She got her apartment and she was off and going,” said Budd. “She loved working.”
“23 is just so young to lose your life,” she added.
The area in which Spears was killed is located in an area near the Maryland-D.C. border where trans and cisgender women are known to engage in sex work. Spears is also the second trans woman killed in Fairmount Heights this year.
Ashanti Carmon, a 27-year-old trans woman, was murdered at the intersection of Jost and Aspen Streets near Eastern Avenue on March 30. Spears died less than four blocks away from where Carmon was killed.
Reilly acknowledged Spears and Carmon “did know each other,” but said “there is no direct link that we see at this point” in their deaths.
“That is obviously something we are monitoring at this point,” he said.
Budd told the Blade that Spears “made it no secret” that she saw Carmon’s murder.
“We are urging them to investigate this murder,” said Budd, referring to the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Office at 301-772-4925 or Prince George’s County Crime Solvers at 1-800-411-TIPS.