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Diamond Sanders Shot to Death, Becomes 10th Trans Killing of 2021

Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders, 23, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Clifton, Ohio March 23

She is remembered fondly as a “ball of energy” by friends and family.

Diamond Kyree Sanders, a Black trans woman, was shot and killed in Ohio in the early morning hours of March 3. According to WLWT in Cincinnati, police in the city of Clifton found Sanders, 23, alive but suffering from an unspecified number of gunshot wounds. She was rushed to an area hospital, but died a short time later. Police have given few details about the crime or possible suspects, but indicated they are investigating her death as a homicide. Sanders is the 10th known transgender victim to have been violently killed so far this year, on pace to pass last year's record number of 45 killings.

"Diamond was loved by her friends and family, and should not have been taken from her community," Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the transgender justice initiative at the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. "We will continue to speak out against this violence and to support transgender and non-binary people, and we need everyone to do the same."

Sanders was remembered by friends and family "as a ball of energy" who "valued her family and enjoyed spending time with them." As a child she loved weekends making 'pigs in a blanket' with her aunt, Terron, and grandmother, Dianne. The family fondly remembered many childhood vacations to Disney World, the Bahamas, Detroit, and elsewhere to show young Sanders the world was "much bigger than just Cincinnati."

Sanders was also a budding fashionista, and one of her favorite phrases was "I have to be cute, honey!"

Her family loved her without reservation, and her obituary noted that "at the last family Thanksgiving dinner, Diamond let her family know she was thankful that they accepted her for who she was" as a trans woman.

Sanders is the 10th known transgender victim to die violently so far this year, putting the nation on pace to surpass last year's record high of 45 killings. However, the number of victims is almost certainly higher, as many deaths go unreported or the victims are misgendered or deadnamed by police, media and family, Police in Ohio misgendered and deadnamed Sanders in initial reports.

"We should not have to keep track of Black trans people whose lives are stolen-period," David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said in a statement. "Instead, we should be giving them their flowers-celebrating their many contributions to the culture, our community and the country."

One mourner chose to celebrate Sanders's memory by encouraging her late friend to "soar and fly high" in the heavens that "bloom with your wings."

RELATED | Puerto Rico Declares State of Emergency to Combat Trans Violence

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