For the already 20th time this year, the trans community is mourning the killing of one of its own.
According to the LGBTQ+ magazine OutSmart, Itali Marlowe died after sustaining multiple gunshot injuries in Southwest Houston. After police responded to reports of a shooting at 15829 Ridgeroe Lane near the neighborhood of Ridgemont around 2 p.m. local time, the 29-year-old was found in a nearby driveway.
Although paramedics rushed her to a local hospital, Marlowe was soon pronounced dead.
Authorities have reportedly identified a suspect in her killing: 23-year-old Raymond Donald Williams, who was living with Marlowe at the time of her death. Williams is said to have fled the scene and has not yet been arrested.
Marlowe is the fourth trans woman to be murdered in Texas this year, following Muhlaysia Booker, Chynal Lindsey, and Tracy Single. Booker and Lindsey were both killed in Dallas, while Single also lost her life in Houston. All of the victims were Black, as have been the majority of transgender women killed this year.
Numbers will likely vary as to how many trans people have been killed in 2019 overall. Although many outlets have reported that Ja’Leyah-Jamar Berryman, who was killed in Kansas City in September, was transgender, friends, family members, and community outlets have since come out to correct the record — claiming that Berryman identified as a gender nonconforming queer man.
As the reports of Marlowe’s death were confirmed by the trans news site TransGriot today, Human Rights Campaign called attention to the role of gun violence in the ongoing epidemic of trans murders across the country.
“Of the known transgender people killed this year, 13 have died from gun violence,” Deputy Press Secretary Elliott Kozuch wrote in a statement. “Of the more than 150 known victims of anti-transgender violence from 2013 to present, approximately two-thirds of those killed were victims of gun violence.”
“These victims are not numbers,” Kozuch added. “They were people with hopes and plans, dreams for the future, loved ones and communities who will miss them every day.”
In addition, the nationwide LGBTQ+ organization drew attention to the fact that transgender people in Houston have few state or local laws to protect them. Texas has yet to pass an LGBTQ+ civil rights law or trans-inclusive hate crime law at the statewide level, while Houston repealed its nondiscrimation ordinance following a citywide vote in November 2015.