In a statement issued on Tuesday that identified Monica Loera, 43, by her birth name and used masculine pronouns, the Austin Police Department said Loera was shot around 3 a.m. local time on Jan. 22. She was taken to hospital, where she later died.
“She was funny, [and] beautiful,” a close friend told the Chronicle. “I never saw her as David, I saw her as Monica. She loved Madonna and she loved to cook.”
Loera’s death, which was Austin’s first homicide this year, comes after a spate of trans homicides in 2015, with at least 22 transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals killed. “It took only three weeks for the initial quiet of 2016 to be shattered by the murder of another trans person,” said Nell Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, in a statement. Nineteen of the victims were individuals of color, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, which documented the deaths.
“It may be a new year, but it’s looking like, unfortunately we’re telling the same horrific story,” said Beverly Tillery, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. Read more via Buzzfeed