Trans Woman Shot and Killed, Allegedly by Border Patrol Agent

Nikki Enriquez is at least the 21st transgender person killed in the U.S. this year.

A transgender woman is among four alleged victims of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Juan David Ortiz, who is said to have shot and killed them between September 3-15, in Laredo, Texas.

Nikki Enriquez, 28, who was initially deadnamed and misgendered by law enforcement, also went by the name Janelle, reports TransGriot and Caller Times.

Her body was recovered by authorities along Interstate 35, near mile marker 15.

Juan David Ortiz
Webb County Sheriff's Office/Public Domain

Ortiz’s other known victims include Melissa Ramirez, 29, Claudine Ann Luera, 42, and another as of yet publicly unidentified woman, whose name has not been released as officials first need to inform her next of kin.

He is facing four counts of murder, among other charges, and has confessed to the killings.

Another woman, Erika Pena, escaped and went to a state trooper, beginning the manhunt for Ortiz. It was during this five hour search that detectives say he killed Enriquez and the woman whose identity has yet to be released.

Officials say Ortiz was targeting sex workers, and has called the investigation ongoing. Before working as a border agent for almost a decade, he served in the Navy for eight years.

Enriquez is at least the 21st known transgender or gender non-conforming person to be killed this year in the United States alone. Most, like her, were trans women of color who were shot and killed.

In addition to those killings, earlier this year a trans woman, Roxsana Hernández, died while in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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