Zoe Spears, a Black transgender woman, was found dead on Thursday (June 13) in a Maryland neighborhood, just three months after another trans woman was killed just a few blocks away.
According to the Prince George Police Department police, the 23-year-old was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene. A suspect or motive has not yet been established.
Spears is the second Black trans woman to be killed in the state in 2019. On March 30, 27-year-old Ashanti Carmon, an acquaintance of Spears’, was fatally shot in Fairmont Heights, just “three to four” blocks from where Spears was murdered.
“There is no direct link at this point,” Maj. Brian Reilly said at a press conference after he was asked if the two deaths were connected. “What we have established with a lot of the women along Eastern Avenue that work in that area, as commercial sex workers, is that its a very tight group of women that work out there. And these two women did in fact know each other.”
Reilly did acknowledge it was “unusual” that both murders occurred so close to one another. “All we can say is look out for each other,” he added, “We know that it is a tight group of women that work out there together and we just ask that they keep looking out for each other.”
Spears is reportedly the 10th Black trans woman killed in the United States this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The 10 murder victims are Dana martin, 31, Jazzaline Ware (age unknown), Ashanti Carmon, 27, Claire Legato, 21, Muhlaysia Booker, 23, Michelle “Tamika” Washington, 40, Paris Cameron, 20, Chynal Lindsey, 26, Chanel Scurlock, 23, and Zoe Spears, 23.
You can read more about their stories here.
Photo: Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images