Regina “Mya” Allen, a Black transgender activist, was shot and killed in Milwaukee less than a month before her 36th birthday.
She was a member of the Sisters Helping Each Other Battle Adversity (SHEBA) group, which works to support and empower Black trans women through “leadership development, health care promotion, self care, resources, education advocacy and more.”
Friends described Mya as full of laughter and joy, with many expressing their disbelief at her death.
“Mya was a beloved and beautiful soul who served as an inspiration to younger transgender girls in her community,” said Tori Cooper, the Human Rights Campaign Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative.
“Mya should still be with us today, spreading her laughter and joy.
“Instead, we are confronted yet again with the killing of a Black transgender woman who was simply living her life and living in her truth.
“Across the nation, we see violence and hatred against transgender people that is fueled by stigma – people wanting to shame and harm us for the unthinkable crime of wanting to live our lives to the fullest. It must end.”
Mya’s death makes her at least the 29th transgender or gender non-conforming person to be violently killed in the United States this year alone, as well as the third in Milwaukee.
Many of these crimes are often misreported or unreported entirely, meaning the actual number of killings is likely to be higher.
CCTV footage shows her talking with a man at a petrol station before getting into his vehicle, local news outlets reported.
When it eventually arrived at Mya’s apartment, a witness is said to have told police that he saw two people arguing in black SUV before hearing a gunshot and her screaming, “I’m shot.”
Mya was able to call 911 before her death and give a description of the vehicle.
Police are now searching for Clayton Hubbird, 31, and anyone with information is being asked to contact Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360 or, to remain anonymous, reach out to Crime Stoppers at 414-224-Tips.