Trans Woman Found Fatally Shot in Detroit, May Not Be Hate Crime

The unnamed victim might have been killed by a stray bullet.

[UPDATE: Into reports that while police officials have not released her identity, the victim is Keanna Mattel, an active member in Detroit’s ballroom scene, according to LGBTQ advocates who have not spoken on record.]

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a transgender woman in Detroit.

Officials say the unnamed 35-year-old victim was found dead early Friday morning with a gunshot wound. Her body was discovered around 6am on E. McNichols Road, the Detroit Free Press reports, but no other details are currently available.

Police are looking into the claims of a man who told authorities he was robbed in close proximity to the victim, had fired a gun, and may have inadvertently shot her. The two cases are currently being investigated as separate incidents.

Cpl. Danielle Woods, the Detroit police LGBTQ liaison in charge of the department’s sensitivity training, explains that while the shooting remains under investigation, it is not being considered a hate crime.

“I would say that crimes committed against the [LGBTQ] community are down,” she says. 

If determined to be a casualty of anti-trans violence, the Detroit victim would be the 25th reported trans person killed in the U.S. in 2018. Tydi Dansbury, a black trans woman, was fatally shot on November 26.

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