Police are searching for the person who shot and killed a transgender woman in Arlington, a city in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area, last Thursday.
Police responded to reports of an unconscious person in a car parked at an apartment complex on Stonetrail Road, in the northern part of the city, around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. Upon arrival, they discovered the woman inside the car had been fatally shot.
The victim has since been identified as 21-year-old Kiér Laprí Kartier, a transgender female and Dallas native.
Police say that the car in which Kartier was seated was running, and the driver’s side door was open. Police wouldn’t disclose if any personal belongings were missing from her car. It’s still unclear what connection Kartier had to the apartment complex.
The motive for the murder is unknown, although police say there is no indication Kartier’s murder was related to her gender identity, according to FOX affiliate KDFW.
“The investigators have spoken to the victim’s family and obviously they’ve indicated how much Kier [Kartier] was loved. And we have assured them that the Arlington Police Department will do everything we can to investigate this situation and bring it to a successful conclusion by finding who did this,” Sgt. Chris Moore, of the Arlington Police Department, said.
Two hours before police say she was murdered, Kartier had dinner at her friend’s house in Dallas. As she was leaving, she said she had to make a quick trip to Arlington, but didn’t say where she was going, her friend Josh told KDFW.
“Right now, I am just trying to understand and understand and figure out why,” Arnitra Robinson, Kartier’s mother, said. “Kier was very loved and loved a lot of people. There was no reason for this to have happened.”
Detectives in the case are currently looking for witnesses and security video to see if they can identify a suspect in Kartier’s murder. Those with information about Kartier’s death or the shooting are being asked to call 817-459-6466 and reference report 2021-02730723. Anonymous tips may also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County hotline at 817-469-8477.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s top LGBTQ advocacy organization, noted that Kartier is at least the 38th transgender or gender-nonconforming person in the United States to be killed this year, and the fifth this year in Texas. The organization noted that there may be more transgender people who have been killed, but those deaths may go unreported or the victims may be misgendered, thereby underestimating the number of people who lost their lives to anti-transgender violence. Last year, 44 transgender people in the United States were killed violently.
Naomi Green, a fellow with HRC ACTIVATE, the organization’s professional development program for Black, Latinx TGNCNB, and POC community leaders with two years or more of advocacy and community organizing experience, noted in a statement that there have been eight transgender women of color shot in the past three years since she moved to Dallas.
“I didn’t know that when I moved here I was moving to a place where being trans means being more deserving to die. That a trans life was not equivalent to any other life and was less deserving. That is the mentality of many outside our LGBTQ+ community here and it has to stop,” Green said in a statement. “We need the help of others to stop the senseless violence and killing of trans people in this city. My heart goes out to this lovely trans sister who lost her life at only 21 and all those who loved and knew her.”
“With Kartier’s death, we’ve already recorded more incidents of fatal violence this year than at this time last year,” Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a statement. “These attacks on our community must stop, and we need to direct resources toward supporting and protecting transgender and non-binary people.”
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