On August 14, a Black transgender woman, Miss CoCo, was fatally shot at a homeless encampment in Dallas, Texas.
Miss Coco, 44, was frequently seen in encampment areas of downtown Dallas as she experienced homelessness.
Dallas police reported that the incident occurred at 10:08 p.m. in the 500 block of Park Avenue, between Marilla and Young street on Saturday night.
Miss Coco succumbed to her injuries and tragically died at a local hospital. The victim was identified by the Dallas County medical examiner’s office through fingerprint analysis as she was not carrying official identification.
NBC Dallas-Fort Worth News reported a silver car was seen leaving the location, westbound on Marilla Street, after the shooting. However, Dallas police were not able to not provide a description of the suspected shooter.
Pastor Wayne Walker of Our Calling described CoCo’s death as a “horrible tragedy” and stated that the “most vulnerable population really attracts the worst kinds of predators.”
The motive of Miss CoCo’s death has not been formally established, but Dallas police have said they are investigating the murder as “a hate crime”.
This year is expected to outrank any previous figures with the highest number trans and gender non-confirming deaths.
“This I believe makes the 34th [murder] I’m aware of this year in the United States,” said Leslie McMurray of the Resource Center. “Last year was 44, so we’re on track to exceed that. Last year was a record, so it keeps getting worse, not better.”
The non-profit organisation, Nu Trans Movement, shared a heartfelt Facebook post in memoriam of Miss CoCo, who was described as a “small girl with a big, bubbly personality”.
“Another senseless death! The city is mourning the loss of Miss CoCo, a transgender woman who frequented the homeless camps and downtown areas of Dallas. She was a well-known small girl with a big, bubbly personality,” the post read.
“CoCo was a happy person & proud to be living her truth! Light a candle for sister to guide her on the journey to her next destination. Rest in Love and Peace sister.”
Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, issued a statement on Miss CoCo’s death.
“We continue to witness a high level of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially Black and Brown trans women,” Cooper said.
“We urgently need action to stop the violence and stigma against trans and gender non-conforming people. Everyone must speak up and get involved in their communities to work to bring this violence to an end.”
Human Rights Campaign recorded 44 deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people last year, which was more than in any year since the organisation began documenting data in 2013.
The Dallas Police Homicide Unit has asked anyone with information to contact Detective Frank Serra on #10031 at 214-671-4320 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477). Witnesses must refer to case number 141396-2021.