A transgender woman was murdered Thursday night in Fairmount Heights, a suburb of Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reports.
Unnamed in initial reports, the woman has been identified by Prince George’s County police as Zoe Spears, 23, who was shot multiple times near Eastern Avenue in the Maryland neighborhood.
Spears’ body was found less than half a mile away from where another trans woman, Ashanti Carmon, 27, was shot and killed on March 30, the day before International Trans Day of Visibility. That murder is still under investigation.
“There’s no direct link that we see at this point, but that is obviously something we are monitoring very closely,” said Maj. Brian Reilly in a press briefing. “It’s unusual that we had two murders like this within a couple blocks of each other.”
“I’m really pleading with the community and others to be aware and do not go on Eastern Avenue,” trans activist Earline Budd warned.
“She was just trying to make it and just trying to survive on the street, and that is very difficult,” added Budd, who described Spears as a “vibrant young person.”
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) June 14, 2019
Friends say Spears had witnessed Carmon’s murder and feared for her life. Previously homeless, she had been living independently and dreamed of becoming a lawyer.
Spears is at least the 10th trans American murdered this year. All have been women of color.