Chae’Meshia Simms, a 30-something transgender woman, was shot to death in Richmod, VA a few days before Thanksgiving. The family now wants answers.
People magazine reports that Simms succumbed to an “apparent gunshot and was pronounced dead at the scene after a call reporting that a car had crashed into an alleyway just before 6 a.m. on Nov. 23.”
Her family members have shared that she was found shot behind the wheel in a car previously rented by her mother.
Simms’ father vowed to never stop searching for his daughter’s killer. He told WTVR News that he would like for the alleged shooter to turn himself in and noted, "We're never going to stop looking."
Simms' family said she was a woman of extraordinary character and a "well-loved individual" who cared for others.
Her death also came just three days after the national Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day launched in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honor the lives of victims of transphobic violence.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, there has been close to 40 transgender or non-conforming persons who have died in violent ways this year in this country.
Richmond activist Zakia McKensey told to the local station, “As a trans woman of color, I know most well how we are disproportionately impacted and marginalized.”
She continues, “When will I stop seeing news feeds or news threads or stories about trans women being brutally murdered? For this to happen just a few days after, it’s hitting home in Richmond.”
"It makes people paranoid. It makes us as a trans community outraged and frustrated."
Major Crimes Detective M. Godwin has asked for people to report any news that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrator(s) to 804-646-5533 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.