Around 2:30 Monday morning, Oklahoma City police responded to a disturbance at a local motel. Upon arriving, they found the body of Brooklyn BreYanna Stevenson, a 31-year-old black transgender woman. She had been murdered.
As Oklahoma City’s KFOR-TV reports, police are still unsure what the killer or killers’ motives might have been and have made no arrests. According to Pink News U.K., Stevenson is at least the 27th trans person to be killed in the U.S. in 2017 (that number is likely low when taking into account victims who are misgendered by law enforcement).
While police say it’s still too early to determine whether Stevenson’s death is a hate crime, Oklahoma City’s trans community is on edge following the news of the killing.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has been tracking the deaths of transgender people in the U.S. According to Splinter News, in 2015 the organization found that out of 16 reported homicides of trans people, 13 were women of color.
Stevenson’s family told KFOR that they are “heartbroken.”
“Brooklyn BreYanna was an amazing daughter, sister and friend with a giving and loving heart,” said the family, who have started a GoFundMe account so that they can bury their loved one. “We pray that those who committed this heinous crime will be identified and Brooklyn will receive justice.”