A 23-year-old Black transgender woman was found fatally shot in a North Carolina field on June 5. Chanel Scurlock is at least the ninth Black trans woman killed in the U.S. in 2019, and the fifth killed in the past month, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins told reporters with the The Robesonian that police found Scurlock while responding to reports of gunfire in the area. Although the sheriff’s department has not arrested a suspect, they do have "great leads."
“Robeson County sheriff’s detectives are currently working diligently to bring closure to a grieving family,” Wilkins told the local paper.
Scurlock's car was initially reported missing, but police found it later on Wednesday on June 5.
After her death, Scurlock has been misgendered by police, media outlets, and her mother, who referred to Chanel as a “gay man” while speaking with WRAL. However, friends and activists identified Scurlock on social media as a transgender woman.
"RIP baby," wrote a friend on Facebook. "Chanel Scurlock You [lived] your life as you wanted. I’m proud of you for being unapologetically correct about your feelings and expectations of YOU."
According to Scurlock’s mother Brenda Scurlock, Chanel went out on Tuesday evening to confront a person who allegedly had her Facebook page removed.
She “made a connection with a guy that took [her] page down,” Brenda Scurlock told WRAL.
“I was surprised that [she] would go meet somebody that took the page down because that’s a red flag right there,” Brenda told the local news station.
Scurlock’s friends clarified to WRAL Chanel wanted to confront someone who took down a Facebook post where she was presenting as a woman. Scurlock’s friends voiced their concern about her going to meet the person who took down the post, because they feared the person could be violent.
In the past month, four other Black transgender women have been brutally murdered and left in the streets. Scurlock’s death follows Claire Legato, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle “Tamika” Washington, and Chynal Lindsey.