Noony Norwood, a transgender woman was shot early Sunday morning in Richmond, Virginia and died in the hospital nine hours later—five days after her 30th birthday.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch officers were called to the scene around 1 a.m. where Norwood was "found on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds."
Norwood lived less than a mile from where she was gunned down.
“She was very fun-loving, a lot of energy, and loved to dance,” Norwood's friend Zakia McKensie told the Times-Dispatch. “She loved family, to eat and cook and she very much loved being in the community with people.”
“A lot of people are affected by Noony’s passing,” said McKensie. “A lot of people have been reaching out and are sad. But more so, there is a lot of anger.”
Members of Richmond's LGBT community are also upset because Norwood's gender was misidentified when the Richmond police released the victim’s identity. The police said Norwood was a “man dressed in women’s clothing.”
“Misgendering Noony in death is an act of violence on top of what she has already suffered,” said Ha Tran from the Virginia Anti-Violence Project. “Noony has already suffered enough.”
In a statement Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said that Norwood's mother told detectives to identify Norwood as male—even though McKensie says that Norwood "used feminine pronouns to refer to herself and that her trans identity was not a secret among family and friends."
“It is not an easy task when dealing with sensitive situations as what has been presented here. We acknowledge and respect the concerns of the LGBTQ community regarding this issue,” Durham said in an email addressing the controversy. “We have to strike a balance in respecting the wishes of the immediate family and those in the community. It is always our intent to treat all persons with dignity and respect.”
This year is the deadliest on record for trans people. There have been 24 reported murders of a trans person in 2016—in 2015 21 were reported.
The Times-Dispatch reports the police are looking for someone they suspect was at the crime scene:
Police are looking for a man who may have been nearby at the time of the shooting and would like to talk to him about what he might have seen or heard.
He was last seen leaving the area in a dark-colored sedan, possibly a Hyundai Sonata.
He is described as black, between 30 to 40 years old, standing at 6 feet, 2 inches to 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing about 290 pounds.
Anyone with information about the shooting should call Major Crimes Detective Anthony Coates at (804) 646-0729 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or www.7801000.com.