Several transgender women killed across US in May

Tayy Dior Thomas of Alabama was killed on May 7.
Tayy Dior Thomas of Alabama was killed on May 7.
Human Rights Campaign

Several transgender individuals have been killed or found dead in separate incidents across multiple states in recent weeks — and in one case, authorities made an arrest tied to the murder of a transgender individual in March.

The spate of deaths started early in the month of May when the body of a 23-year-old Black trans woman, Darri Moore, was found in a quarry on the edge of the Mississippi river. Moore was discovered by workers at Tower Rock Stone in St. Genevieve, Missouri, according to Channel 4 St. Louis, a CBS affiliate. A police spokesperson has ruled out foul play in the case, Channel 4 reported, but Moore’s childhood friend, Izzy Baker, is skeptical.

“She was not by herself,” Baker told the local news outlet. “She loved herself too much to walk out on that river.”

A spokesperson for the St. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Gay City News’ request for comment on May 30.

Less than a week later, Tayy Dior Thomas, 17, was fatally shot in Mobile, Alabama, representing the second trans or non-binary person under the age of 18 to be killed this year (River Nevaeh Goddard, 17, was killed in Massachusetts), according to the Human Rights Campaign. Local news outlet WALA reported that Thomas’ body was found at around 3:30 a.m., and authorities subsequently arrested 20-year-old Carl Washington Jr. and charged him with murder.

Meanwhile, on May 15, a 25-year-old trans woman was stabbed to death in San Francisco. Police who responded to reports of an altercation told the Bay Area Reporter that 25-year-old Michelle Henry — who was very active in the city’s LGBTQ community — was pronounced dead at the scene after she was found lying on the ground with multiple stab wounds shortly before 2 p.m. on May 15. Authorities initially detained a female suspect before arresting 33-year-old Raymani Yuhashi, who was charged with unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.

In Texas, there are new developments in a months-old case out of Houston, where 35-year-old Walter Daniel Saravia Palacios was charged with the murder of 36-year-old Diamond Brigman, who was shot more than 15 times during the early morning hours of March 16 on Country Creek Street in Houston, according to KHOU 11, a CBS affiliate in Houston. Brigman had just exited her car when she was killed.

And in Milwaukee, 33-year-old Clayton Hubbird pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree reckless homicide for the death of Mya Allen, a transgender woman who was killed on Aug. 29, 2022. Allen and Hubbard engaged in an argument at 26th and Wells St. in Milwaukee when Allen was shot. Police said Allen identified Hubbird as the shooter before she died, according to WISN 12 News, an ABC affiliate.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 15 transgender and gender-expansive people have been killed so far this year in the United States — with more than half the year remaining — in a continuation of a years-long trend of deadly violence against transgender individuals, especially trans women of color. Last year, there were 32 known transgender individuals who were killed.