A 26-year-old transgender woman of color was struck and killed by a vehicle on March 17 in Los Angeles, California Highway Patrol told Gay City News.
Rayanna Pardo was allegedly fleeing a group of harassers around 9:25 p.m. when she was hit by a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse on southbound Eastern Avenue, north of Fifth Street, according to a press release from California Highway Patrol spokesperson Gina Jojola. Authorities said the victim was transported to Los Angeles County Medical Center but later died from her injuries.
Security footage obtained by CBS shows the victim was struck by a car while people were following her.
Pardo’s family told CBS their daughter was allegedly fleeing anti-trans harassers before her death. California’s Highway Patrol is handling the investigation. Jose Barrios, a patrol officer for the agency, told Gay City News the department is investigating the motive for the incident but could not confirm whether Pardo was targeted for her trans status or if a group was following her. No arrests have been made thus far and no suspects have been identified.
Now, the victim’s family urges the department to investigate her death as a murder and hate crime. Pardo’s family said she was often targeted for being transgender. The family is seeking answers on whether attackers intentionally pushed her or if she ran into the street to escape the group. On March 20, the community held a candlelight vigil to honor the victim’s life.
“Everybody should just love everybody,” Armando Rangel, Jr., the victim’s brother, said in an interview with CBS. “At the end of the day, that’s all we have is one another.”
Pardo is the twelfth known transgender person to face a violent death in 2021. Others include Diamond “Kyree” Sanders, a Black transgender woman killed in Cincinnati on March 3; Jenna Franks of North Carolina, Jeffrey “JJ” Bright and Jasmine Cannady of Pennslyvania; Chyna Carrillo, a Latinx trans woman killed on February 18; Tyianna Alexander of Chicago, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín of Puerto Rico, Bianca “Muffin” Bankz of Atlanta, Dominique Jackson of Mississippi, Fifty Bandz of Louisiana, and Alexus Braxton of Miami.
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