Another transgender person was violently killed this week. Sara Blackwood was shot while walking home from work in Indianapolis, Indiana, late Sunday evening. She was taken to a local hospital where she later died. Blackwood’s death is the 6th violent killing of a transgender person in the last 23 days. Her death is also the 33rd so far in 2020, further adding to the highest number yet recorded in a single year.
“This violence is heartbreaking and horrifying. It must end,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the transgender justice initiative for Human Rights Campaign, said.
“She was very sweet and a very good person,” Jimmy Johnson, a friend of Blackwood, told WXIN. The pair had worked together for several years at a previous job and he recalled it took a while to get to know Blackwood, but that “once I got to know her, I really enjoyed her company.”
One friend reached out to Planet Transgender to say Blackwood had been in a long-term domestic partnership with Avery Ellis Blackwood, who was devastated by the news. Another friend said the late Blackwood “was a shy trans woman who loved anime.”
Blackwood is the 6th trans woman violently killed in America in the last past four weeks. Felycya Harris, a Black transgender woman, was found shot to death earlier this month in Georgia. Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas, a Latinx transgender woman, was found dead and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds last month in Puerto Rico. Mia Green, a Black transgender woman, was found in the passenger seat of a car that ran a stop sign last month in Philadelphia. She was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and later died at a local hospital. Aerrion Burnett, a Black transgender woman, was found dead of a gunshot wound in Missouri. Last week, Brooklyn DeShauna Smith, 20,was discovered in her apartment suffering from at least one gunshot wound in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“We must all ask ourselves what each of us is doing to work to bring this violence to an end,” Cooper observed. “We are mourning Sara’s loss along with her friends and family, including her domestic partner Avery, who are all in our thoughts. As we take time to remember Sara, we’ll keep fighting for the lives for all trans and gender non-conforming people.”
“It was senseless. Absolutely senseless for this to happen,” Johnson said of Blackwood’s loss, later adding “the world at large is missing a very kind responsible person.”
Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to call the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department at (317) 327-3811.