Felycya Harris, 33, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death Saturday in Augusta, Georgia. Her body was found at Meadowbrook Park with a single gunshot wound, and police are investigating her death as a homicide. Harris, who was deadnamed and misgendered in the initial police report, is believed to be the 31st known trans person violently killed so far in 2020, and Human Rights Campaign is reporting this year’s count matches 2017 as the most deadly year ever for the community.
“With news of the death of Felycya Harris, we have hit a grim milestone: We have now matched the highest number of transgender or gender non-conforming people who were victims of fatal violence in one year -- and there are three more months left in the year,” HRC President Alphonso David, HRC president, said in a statement. “This epidemic of violence, which is particularly impacting transgender women of color, must and can be stopped.”
According to a copy of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office case report obtained by WRDR, officers found Harris lying on the ground and unresponsive shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The coroner was notified, who declared Harris dead at the scene a short time later. Initial reporting by the sheriff deadnamed and misgendered Harris.
Harris leaves behind friends and family mourning her loss. They remember a vivacious personality, an entrepreneur who owned her own interior decorating business, but, most of all, a friend who will not be forgotten.
“Everybody’s going to remember Felycya,’ friend Ricola Collier told WRDR, remembering her laugh and smile. “Everybody is going to remember who Felycya Harris is. Nobody would ever forget who that is.”
HRC notes that each death of the 31 deaths this year represents a great individual loss to those left behind.
“We mourn the individuals we have lost this year while remembering them for who they were: our partners, family members, friends and community members,” David said. “Not one of the 31 individuals we have lost this year, or the 196 people we have lost since 2013, deserved to have their lives or their futures taken from them.”
While friends mourn Harris’s loss, they also want to make sure her killer is found.
“I just want justice to be served for my friend,” Collier said.
The sheriff’s office is still investigating and asking anyone with information to call (706) 821-1080 or (760) 821-1020.