Rico Leblond has been charged in the murder of Zella Ziona, a transgender woman, in Montgomery Village, Maryland. She is at least the 21st transgender woman to be killed in the U.S. this year.
The 21-year-old was shot in the head in a service alley on Thursday, according to ABC News. Police say Smith and Ziona had "some degree of friendship," before the attack.
"This is a horrific crime and a tragedy for those who knew Zella," Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said in a statement. "As with all homicides in Montgomery County, we have detectives working around the clock to thoroughly and completely investigate this murder."
Leblond was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Friday night.
Investigators have not yet decided if Ziona's death will be considered a hate crime.
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(Photo: Zella Ziona via Facebook)
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