Activist and DJ, Anthony Torres, known as Bubbles around San Francisco, was gunned down outside the New Century Strip Club in the Tenderloin around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning.
“The city loses a loving, special character, the type of person that makes San Francisco the great, unique place that it is,” Jim Reilly, Torres’ friend and attorney, told SF Gate.
The police have said that the initial information does not point to the murder being a hate crime, but Reilly disagrees.
“The details are still coming out… For a transgender activist to be gunned down on [his] own street shouldn’t stand and won’t stand,” said Reilly.
Buckner Williams, Torres’ friend and another local DJ, said that Torres identified as a gay man who liked dressing up as a woman.
“You always knew when Bubbles was in the room or in the building. He was larger than life but at the same time on a one-on-one level was one of the most dearest and compassionate people I knew,” Williams told the San Francisco Examiner. “If Bubbles came to your party, you knew it was a good f*cking party.”
In 2012 SF Gate followed Torres around the city dressed as Bubbles:
“I don’t know how to explain it. Bubbles is just Bubbles. I feel empowered. The attention is nice, and it makes me feel important and loved,” Torres said. “In San Francisco you can get away with doing this. It’s an escape from every mundane day, and San Francisco allows me to do that. Bubbles is like a toy, in a way.”
A small memorial has been created where Torres was believed to be shot. Friends brought flowers, candles, photos and a sign that read: “Rest in power, Bubbles.”
“This homicide is a very unfortunate and tragic incident,” said Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the Tenderloin on the Board of Supervisors. “He was one of those San Francisco personalities.”