Angel Haynes, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed last week in Tennessee. The body of the 25-year-old cosmetologist was discovered in a motel in the Whitehaven neighborhood of Memphis, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, according to WTAN News. She is the 34th known transgender or gender nonconforming person to be violently killed in 2020, and the 7th in less than two months.
Police were called to the Motel 6 on East Brooks Road early Sunday morning. Haynes was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives are investigating her death as a homicide.
“I still can’t believe it really because that was the only person I was with every single day,” Takia Weddle said at a vigil held for Haynes over the weekend. “I talked to my best friend more than I talked to my boyfriend.”
Weddle said Haynes had traveled to Memphis from their hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, for a visit. Haynes had promised to call and let Weddle know she had arrived safely, but the call never came.
Haynes is the 7th trans woman violently killed in America in less than two months. Sara Blackwood was shot while walking home from work in Indianapolis, Indiana, last month. Also last month, Felycya Harris, a Black transgender woman, was found shot to death in Georgia; Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas, a Latinx transgender woman, was found dead and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds last month in Puerto Rico; and Brooklyn DeShauna Smith, 20, was discovered in her apartment suffering from at least one gunshot wound in Shreveport, Louisiana. Mia Green, a Black transgender woman, was found in the passenger seat of a car that ran a stop sign last September in Philadelphia. She was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and later died at a local hospital. Also in September, Aerrion Burnett, a Black transgender woman, was found dead of a gunshot wound in Missouri.
At the vigil in Jackson, family and friends remembered Haynes as a warm and vivacious person.
“Everybody that knew Angel knew that she was very funny,” Weddle remembered. “Very nice to everybody she met.”
Police currently have no suspects and are asking anyone with information to call 908.528.CASH. A GoFundMe page has been started to help defray costs for Haynes’s family.