Georgia teen Ava Le’Ray Barrin was shot and killed on Sunday, becoming the 14th trans American murdered since the start of 2017.
At just 17, Barrin is also the youngest victim of anti-trans violence on record this year. She was shot in the chest and taken to a local hospital, where she later died of her injuries.
Jalen Breon Brown, 21, has been charged with her murder, though he claims he acted in self-defense. Police believe Brown and Barrin knew each other, though the nature of their relationship and the circumstances of the altercation that led to Barrin’s death are unclear.
Friends described Barrin as a “young, full of life, [and] a beautiful soul” in an online obituary
Last year was the deadliest for transgender people in America, but at this rate, 2017 will surpass it before the end of the year. News of Barrin’s murder comes less than two weeks after reports of Latina trans woman Josie Berrios’ death in Ithaca, New York.
#AvaBarrins is trending on Twitter, with LGBT advocates taking to social media to share her story and say her name.
She was only 17. A damn shame. https://t.co/HgwhjEsV73
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) June 28, 2017
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) June 28, 2017
As is often the case, initial news reports misgendered Barrin. In a statement, HRC said, “announcements that fail to respect transgender victims’ identities not only upset the victims’ loved ones, but may lead to additional violence by creating the perception that law enforcement will not protect transgender people or pursue their attackers”
The other victims of anti-transgender violence in 2017 include Berrios, Kenne McFadden, Mesha Caldwell, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, JoJo Striker, Jaqarrius Holland, Keke Collier, Chyna Gibson, Ciara McElveen, Alphonza Watson, Chay Reed, Mx Bostick, and Sherrell Faulkner, who succumbed to injuries related to a 2016 assault.