A black trans women shot dead in Philadelphia on Wednesday morning has become the 19th reported case of a trans person being killed in the US so far this year.
Shantee Tucker, who had celebrated her 30th birthday on Sunday (September 2), was found suffering from a gunshot wound by police at about 1am on a highway in the Hunting Park area of the city, according to local media reports.
She was taken to Temple University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.Police are reportedly looking for a suspect in connection with the murder.
According to local magazine Philadelphia, a police report state that Tucker had been arguing with an unidentified person or persons in a black Ford truck, who then started shooting at Tucker.
Philadelphia Police Department are appealing for any witnesses to contact the Homicide Unit on 215-686-3334.
Friends have paid tribute to Tucker on social media.
One friend, Samantha Jo Dato, wrote on Facebook: “R.I.P Shantee Tucker I was just on your live checking in on your birthday. May you forever live in our hearts and justice be swift and ruthless.
“This is so close to home Philly Stay Strong and wrap one another in love.”
Another friend, Tameer Harris, posted on Facebook: “Omg I can’t believe the news I just got R.I.P Shante !! you was really like another big sister to me!”
Harris added: “I really can’t even believe this phone call I got ❤️❤️❤️ this morning I woke up to a confirmation that I can’t even stomach to believe 😔 May you Rest In Peace baby 💋 I Love You So Much!”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 16 of the 19 known killings of trans people in the US in 2018 have been women of colour.
Sarah McBride, national press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign, told PinkNews: “There is a growing epidemic of violence targeting transgender people, particularly Black transgender women.
“This is an urgent crisis that is a by-product of the toxic and violent combination of transphobia, misogyny, and racism. As a society, our policymakers and lawmakers must do more to combat this violence.
“Our hearts go out to the family—both blood and chosen—of Shantee Tucker, and we must never forget that behind the headlines was a real person whose life of love, hopes and dreams was tragically cut short.”
Tucker’s death comes just a week after two other black trans women were found dead on August 30.
The other woman, 18-year-old Vontashia Bell, was also found in a street in Shreveport, Louisiana, with gunshot wounds to the chest and wrist.