Ebony Morgan, a 28-year-old transgender woman from Virginia, has become the 15th transgender person to be murdered in the US so far this year.
Morgan died at Lynchburg General Hospital on Sunday (July 2) after suffering multiple gunshot wounds. A 22-year-old man, Kenneth Allen Kelley Jr., has been named as a person of interest in the case. He has not been apprehended at the time of publishing.
Lynchburg Police Sergeant Bryan Williams told The News & Advance
that police have not yet established whether Ebony's murder was a hate crime targeting her gender identity.
A spokesperson for Lynchburg Diversity Center, a local LGBT+ support network, confirmed that Ebony was a trans woman. One of the directors of the centre, Issac Zralii, confirmed that the Center will be there to support members of the local LGBT+ community. “Every time that there is a major event, we make sure that people know their resources, know who they can reach out to, know that we’re here,” Zralii said.
Executive Director of the Centre, Andi Miller, said: “The fact is, another trans woman of color is dead … That’s what matters.”
All of the 15 slain transgender people who have been murdered in the US since the beginning of the year have been trans women of colour.
A representative for the local chapter of Transgender Alliance has been in touch with Ebony's family. A spokesperson told Mic
via Facebook: “The family is very quiet and we are respecting their privacy. We have offered help and assistance to the family and we will be available to them whenever they need us.”
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