A 29-year-old Black transgender woman was found shot to death on the side of the road in North Charleston, South Carolina.
According to police, the body of Denali Berries Stuckey was discovered early Saturday, and her death has been ruled a homicide.
Close family friend Ron'Rico Judon reflected on Stuckey, who ran a home childcare business and was a cosmetologist, describing her as someone who lived unapologetically and courageously.
“She was a free spirit. She was very outspoken,” Judon told ABC News. “If you didn’t like the fact that she was trans, she would give you a piece of her mind.”
He continued, “Somebody that was deeply loved by so many was taken from us. To have the type of love and support that Denali had, not only from friends and the community, but family, that's rare."
Stuckey’s candlelight memorial was held in North Charleston on Monday evening.
North Charleston Police said they do not have information leading to a motive.
The Human Rights Campaign, a LGBTQ advocacy group, tracks the number of transgender homicides each year, estimating that Stuckey is the twelfth Black trans woman to be killed this year.
So far, the group has tracked 136 transgender deaths since 2013, with the majority of the victims being Black transgender women. The actual number of killings may be much higher, as the organization said the violence is hard to track due to misgendering and transphobia.
In a Sunday statement, Chase Glenn, the executive director of Alliance for Full Acceptance, revealed Stuckey is the third known Black trans woman slain in South Carolina since 2018.