A transgender woman was shot and killed in Houston early Wednesday, making her the 27th trans person murdered in the U.S. in 2017 and the fourth in the state of Texas.
The body of Brandi Seals, 26, was discovered in a home under construction in Sunnyside at about 6am. Neighbors reported hearing six gunshots prior to the arrival of police.
Both police and early news reports misgendered her, with Houston police detective Fil Waters referring to her as “a man in women’s clothing.”
“The speculation is he’s been working the street,” Waters told Fox 26 in Houston. “That someone picks up and then realizes he’s not what he’s representing himself to be and take this kind of ultimate action.”
With two weeks left to go, 2017 is already the deadliest on record for trans Americans, with the vast majority of the victims being trans women of color like Seals.
“Whoever took [her] life, they have to answer,” said Seals’ aunt, Maria Cheeks. “Maybe the police might not get you, but you will have to answer to one person. And that’s the higher power of God.”
TransGriot reports vigils are being planned tonight at the house where Seals was discovered and Friday at Houston City Hall.