A transgender woman in Harlem was fatally stabbed in the neck on Saturday morning, according to New York City police.
Officers responded to a report of an assault on progress at Harlem River Park, near the corner of E. 128th Street and Third Avenue around 1:30 a.m.
When they arrived on scene, they found a transgender woman on the ground bleeding from a gaping wound in her neck. Medics rushed the victim to Harlem Hospital, but doctors were unable to save her.
According to witnesses, the victim was sitting on a bench at the athletic field when her attacker accosted her and the two got into an argument. The suspect then pulled out a blade and stabbed the victim in the neck before speeding off on a motor scooter, reports the New York Daily News.
Police are withholding the woman’s name until her next of kin can be notified.
But Lavonia Brooks, a friend of the victim, says that the 33-year-old woman was nicknamed “Lexi,” and that Lexi was a sex worker who may have been attacked by another transgender woman.
According to Brooks, Lexi had ripped a blonde wig off another transgender woman earlier that night.
“What happened last night was uncalled for,” Brooks told the Daily News. “It was all over a wig, a fucking wig.”
Brooks told the New York Post that there was a john on a red scooter trying to pick up one of the girls, and believes the attacker hopped on the back to escape.
Brooks remembered Lexi as a private and generous person who loved poetry, fashion, and makeup.
“She’s very giving. She would give you the shoes off her feet in the wintertime if she really had to,” Brooks said. “I really looked up to her because of her tolerance and respect. Lexi had a beautiful heart, she was very gifted.”
“This is horrifying. My heart breaks for this woman and for her family,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet. “We WILL find the person responsible for this heinous crime and bring them to justice. New York City stands with our trans community, now and always.”
This is horrifying.
My heart breaks for this woman and for her family. We WILL find the person responsible for this heinous crime and bring them to justice. New York City stands with our trans community, now and always. https://t.co/bi9cg8ZZi0
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 28, 2020
The murder is still being investigated, and police are searching for surveillance footage that could help them identify the attacker. No arrests have been made thus far.
Those with any information about the crime are asked to call New York City Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. All tips can be left anonymously, and informants can earn up to $2,500 for any tip that leads to an arrest or indictment.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!