Early on Friday morning, Chayvis Reed was shot and killed while running across a road in Miami.
Reed, 28, is the ninth transgender or gender non-conforming woman of color to be reported killed this year.
A neighbor told local station WPLG that he saw a group of people on the sidewalk around 5 a.m. on Friday. He said he witnessed Reed run across the road, heard multiple gunshots ring out, and then saw her fall to the ground.
The station reported that police had initially misgendered and deadnamed Reed, using her gender and name assigned at birth instead of those she identified with, an unfortunately common practice when police encounter trans people.
“She was a light, always trying to make everyone around her happy,” Patina Peterson, a friend of Reed’s, told Mic. “I don’t even remember her getting into anything. I don’t remember seeing her in an altercation out there with anybody in a bad way. I’ve never seen that.”
The Miami-Dade Police Department said Reed’s killing is not currently being investigated as a hate crime. “At this time there is no evidence to indicate that this was a hate crime. We are still searching for witnesses who may have witnessed the incident,” a spokesperson told Fusion in a statement.
According to the Movement Advancement Project, Florida is one of 13 states where state hate crime laws only protect people on the basis of sexual orientation, and not gender identity.
Trans and gender non-conforming women of color are continuing to be killed this year at a disturbing rate. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs counted 23 trans people murdered in 2016, many of them trans women of color. In 2015, the organization recorded 16 transgender people murdered—13 of them were trans women of color.