A transgender woman in Dallas was injured in a shooting last week in what police say they are investigating as a possible hate crime.
The assault is the latest in a string of attacks, many of them deadly, against transgender women in the state in recent years; this summer, two transgender women in Dallas were killed within weeks of each other.
These attacks have infuriated and frightened the Texas transgender community. Krista Bagley, a transgender activist in Dallas, told BuzzFeed in the wake of the recent shooting that she had urged her “brothers and sisters” to “keep your mouth shut” about their gender identities except with people they know and trust.
Bagley said she herself had been feeling personally unsafe.
“I just want to make sure my brothers and sisters are protected to the utmost,” she said, adding that she felt conflicted about doling out such advice.
Another transgender activist in Dallas told BuzzFeed that while people weren’t “living in fear; it’s more, like, ‘pissed-offedness.’”
Dallas police said Sunday that a 35-year-old Latinx transgender woman had been shot on the night of Sept. 20. The suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Domingo Ramirez-Cavente, allegedly pulled his car alongside the victim and “yelled a number of slurs regarding her gender identity,” police said. The suspect then shot the woman “multiple times in the chest and arm.”
The woman survived the attack. Investigators said they weren’t able to interview her until Sunday because of her injuries.
Police said Ramirez-Cavente later admitted to the shooting. He was charged with aggravated assault.
Though concerns have been raised about a possible link between last week’s shooting and other recent attacks on transgender women in Dallas and elsewhere in Texas, police told CBS News on Monday that no evidence has been uncovered that suggests any connection.
In April, an unnamed 26-year-old transgender woman was stabbed multiple times in Dallas but survived.
The following month, 23-year-old Muhlaysia Booker, a black transgender woman, was found shot to death in the city ― a few weeks after a disturbing video went viral showing her being assaulted by a group of men in a local parking lot.
Less than two weeks later, 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey, also a black transgender woman, was found dead in a Dallas lake.
In July, Tracey Single, a 22-year-old black transgender woman, was killed in Houston.
Democratic lawmakers, including Texas Rep. Colin Allred and Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig, have expressed outrage at the spate of violence.
“Trans women in Dallas are under attack and if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention,” tweeted Jessica González, a member of the Texas House of Representatives.
Activists have warned that violence against transgender people is on the rise.
Earlier this year, the American Medical Association decried what it described as an “epidemic of violence against the transgender community, especially the amplified physical dangers faced by transgender people of color.”