A 25-year-old Black transgender woman was fatally shot in Shreveport, Louisiana on August 23, marking the latest victim of gun violence in a state where several LGBTQ people have been shot and killed dating back to last year.
Local police said “Pooh” Johnson, who also went by Titanizer Mua on social media pages, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds inside a vehicle shortly after 5:30 a.m. at the 300 Block of West 74th Street in Shreveport, which is located in the northwestern part of Louisiana. Results of an autopsy are forthcoming.
Authorities pledged to determine whether Johnson’s identity played a role in the fatal shooting, but police also appeared to misgender the victim. Shreveport Police did not respond to Gay City News’ request for further details in the case.
Johnson worked as a makeup artist, according to Facebook and Instagram pages. Members of Johnson’s family did not immediately respond to Gay City News’ request for comment.
Gun violence has taken a toll on the LGBTQ community in Louisiana in recent years. Last October, Brooklyn DeShauna, a 20-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed at the 7200 Block of Bernstein Avenue in Shreveport — just blocks away from where Johnson’s body was found. McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln, an out gay Black man, was shot and killed in May of last year in Alexandria, Louisiana, which is roughly two hours south of Shreveport.
In another case out of Louisiana earlier this year, a Black trans woman named Fifty Bandz was shot to death in Baton Rouge.
Johnson became the 35th known transgender or gender non-conforming person to suffer a violent death in the United States this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, though there are likely more individuals who have not been counted. Other recent victims include 35-year-old Tierramarie Lewis, who was shot to death in Cleveland on June 12; Miss CoCo, a 44-year-old trans woman who was fatally shot in Dallas on August 7; and Shai Vanderpump, a 23-year-old Black trans woman who was killed last month in Trenton, New Jersey.
“My heart breaks hearing the news about Pooh Johnson,” Victoria Kirby York, the deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said in a written statement. “This epidemic of violence continues to take life after life and each senseless loss is devastating. The trans and non-binary community needs support in this moment and they need protection. Lawmakers must introduce and pass legislation that will prioritize the safety of trans and gender non-conforming people. Law enforcement must work to hold those responsible for these murders accountable. Community members must put pressure on lawmakers and law enforcement to ensure the work gets done. We all must continue to fight back against the transphobia and bias that contributes to the violence we see.”