We’ve tragically learned that Ty Underwood, a 24-year-old Black transgender woman, was fatally shot early Monday morning in North Tyler, Texas. Her friends believe it was a hate crime. Underwood is the second Black transgender woman reportedly killed this year. Her murder comes just within nine days of Lamia Beard who was killed on January 17 in Norfolk, Virginia.
“She was lovely, just a lovely person. Very real, down to earth person who didn’t deserve this, did not deserve this at all,” Underwood’s roommate Coy Simmons told local news station KYTX. “This has to be a hate crime, this has to be a hate crime, nothing else because that was an upstanding person with a good heart.”
A woman called 9-1-1 to report that a car had hit a telephone pole and that her children heard gunshots. Detectives believe Underwood was in or near her car when the shots were fired and that she tried to drive off, but the car got stuck in a grassy area. There are also indicators that there may be bullets fired at the vehicle.
Although Tyler Police have a few leads, they currently don’t have anything substantial enough to lead to a warrant.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Tyler Police Department at (903) 531-1000 or Tyler-Smith County Crime Stoppers at (903) 597-2833.
According to a 2013 report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 72% of LGBTQ homicide victims were transgender women and 67% of homicide victims were transgender women of color. NCAVP responded to the deaths of twelve transgender women of color in 2014.
Rest in power, Ty.