Phylicia Mitchell, a 45-year-old trans woman, was fatally shot in Cleveland, Ohio on Feb. 23, according to Cleveland.com.
Mitchell’s longtime partner, Shane Mitchell, told the website he and and Phylicia were “soul mates.”
“I miss her tremendously,” Shane Mitchell said, noting they’d been together for nearly 30 years and had a “mock wedding.”
“That’s my soul mate,” he added. “We went together everywhere. We did everything together. We always held hands on the bus. Years ago people didn’t respect that, but they do now.”
Shane Mitchell said his partner will be remembered as a kind person who easily connected with others.
“Everyone loved her,” he said. “My nieces and nephews opened up to her so much. She was just so funny and kind.”
In 2017 the Human Rights Campaign issued a report about the alarming rates of violence against trans people, calling it an “epidemic.”
“The epidemic of violence against transgender people is an urgent crisis that demands the nation’s immediate attention,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign president, said.
The Human Rights Campaign has been tracking fatal violence against the trans community since 2013 and have documented 102 murders; at least 87 of the victims were trans people of color. In 2017, 28 trans people were killed, and the overwhelming number — 84 percent — were also people of color.
Mitchell is the third Black trans woman to be murdered this year. Though her partner suspects her death may have been related to drugs, local police are still investigating.