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D.C. police see no pattern in third transgender shooting

Woman reports knowing suspect

- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2011

A shooting early Monday that wounded a transgendered woman in Southeast Washington does not appear to be related to two earlier shootings this summer that targeted transgendered women, D.C. police said Monday.

"We don't seem to have a pattern here," Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a news conference outside police headquarters in Northwest.

The shooting victim was in stable condition Monday afternoon, police said. She was shot in the neck by someone she knew, and police were working to locate the shooter, Chief Newsham said.

The incident was reported around 1:50 a.m. Monday by the victim, who walked into the Seventh District police station on Alabama Avenue in Southeast. She had been shot about a half-mile away from the station in the 2600 block of Savannah Street in Southeast.

In addition to the non-fatal shooting, police also discussed the death of a man found along the side of a road Saturday morning in Columbia Heights. Police have been unable to determine the identity of the man, who was found wearing feminine clothing and carrying a pair of high-heel shoes.

The man was found lying dead in the 2600 block of 11th Street in Northwest around 5:20 a.m. by a passerby, Chief Newsham said.

Police are seeking the public's help in identifying the man, who is described as between 25 and 30 years old and possibly Middle Eastern or Hispanic.

The man suffered no obvious trauma, and police on Monday were uncertain how he died. Investigators were awaiting a toxicology report from the Office of the Medical Examiner for further information.

"We're not even sure a crime occurred, and it may not be a homicide," Capt. Michael Farish of the department's homicide division said.

Jewelry and money were found in the man's possession, leading investigators to think the death was not the result of a robbery, Capt. Farish said. A wristband, possibly from a nightclub, was found on the man's arm, but police have not been able to connect the wristband to any particular club.

Gay and transgender community groups in the District have expressed concern that transgendered people are being targeted for violence after a series of incidents over the summer, including the shootings of two transgendered women in a Northeast neighborhood.

"We do not need to be in a position because we come out in public, our lives are taken away," said transgender activist Ruby Corado.

She and activist Earlene Budd of the group Transgender Health Empowerment Inc. spoke alongside police, highlighting how derogatory name-calling often precedes violent attacks, and they asked for help from authorities to keep such incidents from escalating.

The fatal shooting, which killed Myles "Lashay" Mclean, 23, occurred on July 20 in the 6100 block of Dix Street in Northeast. Police said two men approached Mclean and another person, beginning to ask a question, and then pulled out a handgun and fired shots before either could answer.

The second attack, which occurred July 31 about a block away, played out in much the same manner, as a man approached a transgendered woman to ask for change and then began firing shots before she could respond.
Chief Newsham said investigators are still working leads in both of those cases.

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