A black transgender woman in Maryland was shot and killed the day before this weekend's International Trans Day of Visibility.
On the morning of Saturday, March 30, police responded to reports of gunfire near the border of Maryland's Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C. There, they found the body of 27-year-old Ashanti Carmon, who was pronounced dead at the scene with multiple bullet wounds, according to ABC-7.
Earline Budd, a local transgender activist who helps find alternatives to sex work for low-income trans people, told ABC-7 that she'd seen Carmon earlier that week.
"She wasn’t someone that frequented the streets a lot, so that’s why it’s so shocking and the community is stunned,” Budd added. “I’ve been getting calls all day about this murder.”
The area where Carmon's body was found is reportedly a regional hot spot for transgender sex workers. Budd claims the local advocacy group she's associated with, HIPS, actively discourages trans women from coming to the area. However, Carmon's death is the first reported homicide of a transgender person in the neighborhood in several years.
News of Carmon's death comes months after another trans woman, Dana Martin of Alabama, succumbed to anti-transgender violence. Like Carmon—and like most of 2018's reported victims of anti-trans violence in America—Martin was a transgender woman of color.
The investigation into Carmon's murder is ongoing, and a motive has not been identified.