A Black transgender woman was fatally shot over the weekend in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Denali Berries Stuckey, 29, is the 12th transgender woman who has lost her life to violence since the beginning of the year, with all of the known victims so far being Black, according to Alliance For Full Acceptance, a North Charleston LGBTQ activist and advocacy group.
According to CNN, Stuckey was found dead on the shoulder of a road at around 4 a.m. Saturday.
Originally, the incident was reported as a possible auto-pedestrian accident, but police soon found that Stuckey had suffered from a gunshot wound.
North Charleston Police Deputy Chief Scott Deckard said that Stuckey’s death is still being investigated, including possible motives.
“NCPD has been in constant contact with Andrea Stuckey, Denali’s mother, and are acting in accordance with the family’s wishes,” Deckard said in a statement released Monday.
“We hope that through this tragic act, greater awareness is gained of the continuing discrimination and harassment of the LGBTQ community,” Deckard added, noting that the department intends to “quickly and judiciously find the perpetrator(s), determine a motive, and punish according to the law.”
Alliance For Full Acceptance, along with other LGBTQ groups in South Carolina also hosted a vigil for Stuckey on Monday, during which they asked for anyone with information about the shooting to contact police.
“She was always a nurturing person. A very sweet person. Any anniversary, any birthday, event, anything representing or celebrating you, she was always there,” Mercdeas Arline said, a friend of Stuckey’s told Live5News. “I feel some type of way because I know she’s not going to be here no more, and I won’t be able to hear her laugh. And, she had this distinctive laugh that I swear keeps playing in my head.”