Kiesha Jenkins, a Black transgender woman and college student, was fatally shot in North Philadelphia, making her the 21st transgender woman killed this year alone, ABC6 Philadelphia reports.
The crime occurred in a Logan park early Tuesday morning. After being dropped off by an unknown driver at 13th and Wingohocking streets around 2:30 a.m., Jenkins was approached by five to six unidentified men. Following a physical assault, police say one of the men pulled out a gun and shot her twice in the back. Jenkins was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The 22-year-old was a student at Temple University. It’s unclear why she was in the area. Police are treating the case as a homicide — not a hate crime.
ABC6 Philadelphia reports:
“Right now we don’t have any motive. We don’t know if it’s potentially a hate crime, if it was a robbery, we really don’t know; it’s too early in the investigation to tell,” Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark said.
Investigators are unable to find any surveillance footage from the area and haven’t talked to the person who dropped Jenkins off.
Nellie Fitzpatrick, Mayor Nutter’s liaison to the gay community, called Jenkins’ death “a tremendous and tragic loss for the entire city, our LGBT community, and, more specifically, our trans community.”
“This type of wicked, inhumane violence just has no place here,” she said. “We can’t take anymore. It’s just too much.”
Crimes against transgender women have increased since 2014. According to an August report from Fusion, 20 trans women were killed so far this year, with nine of the cases leading to murder charges. Most of the victims were women of color.
Police currently have no leads in Jenkins’ case. A reward of $20,000 has been announced for anyone who has knowledge about the incident.
Anyone with any information on Jenkins’ killing was asked to call the homicide unit at 215-686-3334, or the department’s tip line at 215-686-TIPS.
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