A Black transgender woman who was shot outside of a nightclub in Indianapolis on December 26 died of her injuries two days later when she was removed from life support.
Ke’Yahonna “Yaya” Stone’s family and friends said she was in the parking lot at Epic Ultra Lounge in northeastern Indianapolis when she intervened in a fight and wound up getting shot. According to FOX 59, a local TV station in Indianapolis, police officers responded to the scene at around 3 a.m. and Stone, 32, was transferred to a local hospital in critical condition, but was unable to recover.
Stone became the 51st and final known transgender or non-binary individual to suffer a violent death in the United States in 2021.
Indianapolis police could not immediately be reached for comment on January 3. No arrests have been made.
Stone’s close friend, LaTroya Rucker, launched a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise money for proper burial services.
“Ke’Yahonna Stone ‘Yaya’ was loved by so many and always looked out for anyone she loved,” Rucker wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We are devastated and heartbroken.”
“I feel whoever did it, they moved off of impulse,” Rucker said, according to WISH TV,, a CW affiliate in Indianapolis. “Some things you got to walk away from. It don’t make you a punk or nothing to walk away. She was breaking up a fight, trying to defuse a fight that was going on. My sister didn’t have nothing to do with nothing that was going on out there.”
Stone was known to open her home for others who need a safe space, according to WISH TV. Stone had recently started working at Trans Solutions Research and Resource Center, a social service agency for the transgender community in Indianapolis.
Stone’s murder concluded yet another record-breaking year of deadly violence targeting the community. The death toll surpassed the 44 known transgender or non-binary individuals who were murdered in 2020 — and that was already significant jump from the 25 such cases logged in 2019.