Metro Weekly

''Identical Situation''

Police investigate Sunday morning shooting that targeted a transgender woman in Northeast

Just 11 days after a transgender woman, Lashai Mclean, was shot and killed, another transgender woman, Tonya Harrell, says unidentified suspects fired shots at her in the 6200 block of Dix Street NE – one block from where Mclean was killed, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. None of the bullets struck Harrell, who managed to flee the scene uninjured, at approximately 2:45 a.m., Sunday, July 31. 

MPD describes a single suspect in the July 31 shooting as “a black male, 17-19 years old, 5’6″, 180 lbs, dark complexion.”

The MPD release describing the July 31 attack reads, “The victim was in the 6200 block of Dix Street NE when a suspect approached [her] on foot. … The suspect asked for change and without waiting for a reply pulled a semi-automatic handgun and shot at the victim, without hitting the victim.”

According to the release, due to similarities, MPD is looking at the two attacks as “a potential emerging pattern.”

Police in the Sixth District are working with the MPD’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU), as well as Transgender Health Empowerment (THE) and the Prince George’s County Police Department to “enhance patrol efforts in the area” where the shootings occurred. 

Mclean was killed in the 6100 block of Dix Street NE on July 20. No arrests have been made. In that case, MPD describes the suspects as “two black males in their late teens to early 20s.

“The first suspect is described as being 6-feet-tall with a thin build and light complexion. The shooter is described as being shorter and having a darker complexion than the other suspect.”

Speaking with Metro Weekly Monday, Aug. 1, MPD Deputy Chief Diane Groomes said that while she can’t confirm the Sunday shooting is related to the July 20 killing of Mclean, the circumstances are “identical.”

“When I heard what occurred, to me it kind of seems like an identical situation,” she said. “The facts were two people approach a transgender woman, in this case around 3 a.m., we do not know what words were said [to Mclean]; this one … approached Tanya and said, ‘Give me change.’ When she walked away, one yelled at her and shoots at her.”