The same man has been accused of killing a black transgender woman found dead in a Birmingham, AL, hotel last week and shooting another trans woman during a home invasion on Monday.
AL.com reported that Jazz Alford, 30, of High Point, N.C., was found shot dead in Birmingham’s King’s Inn on Sept. 23 when her body was discovered by the motel’s housekeeping services. Media reports by AL.com and local TV stations originally misgendered Alford as male and used her birth name to refer to her.
The next week, local TV station WBRC reported that a second trans woman was shot in the ear, this time in her Birmingham home. The woman, who was not identified by authorities, was found by her boyfriend, Darius Foster.
“She couldn’t talk for real. The most I heard her say is ‘Help me.’ That’s all she said, ‘Help me,” and she fell out on the porch,” Foster told WBRC.
The victim was taken to the hospital and is currently recovering.
Police initially arrested and charged Denzell Thomas for attempted murder in the home invasion shooting. They then charged him with murdering Alford on Friday.
Alford’s sister, Toya Milan, told AL.com her sister worked as a a customer service representative for an airline company, but also advertised escort services online.
“She was such a loving person and we didn’t know anybody that would want to hurt her,” Milan told AL.com. “It’s been a hard pill to swallow.”
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs stated in a press release that Alford’s death was “the 21st homicide of a transgender or gender non-conforming person” in 2016, with there being 22 in 2015. Other outlets, such as The Advocate, wrote that Alford’s death was actually the 22nd in 2016.
The number is too high, either way.