- Associated Press - Friday, January 3, 2020

MCALESTER, Okla. (AP) - Police are investigating the slaying of a prominent local advocate for transgender rights who was shot and killed on New Year’s Day while driving a cab.

Dustin Parker, 25, was found dead early Wednesday in the driver’s seat of the cab he was driving in McAlester, Preston Rodgers, a police sergeant in the city about 105 miles (169 kilometers) southeast of Oklahoma City, told The Associated Press. Police are searching for a suspect or anyone with information about the killing, he said.

Rodgers said it’s still early in the investigation and police have not determined whether Parker’s gender identity had anything to do with why he was killed.

Brian West, the owner of Rover Taxi in McAlester, said Parker got a call for a fare and arrived at the address on the city’s west side, where police later found Parker dead.

West, a longtime friend, said Parker had a wife and four children, ages 2 to 13.

Parker was well-known in the LGBTQ community and helped found a local chapter of Oklahomans for Equality in McAlester.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign, Parker is the first transgender person killed in the U.S. in 2020.

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