Transgender community worried for safety after third Jacksonville trans woman shot, killed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The local transgender community says they're growing worried for their safety as the third transgender woman has been shot and killed in Jacksonville in 2018.

Sunday’s victim was found dead at a hotel in Baymeadows.

“Everybody's in an uproar. Everybody feels there's a target on their back,” said Paige Mahogany Parks, a local LGBTQ advocate and founder of the Transgender Awareness Project.

JSO has not confirmed that the victim is a transwoman, but Parks says the victim is.

The Sheriff’s Office says the victim is a black male, in his 20s, who appears to identify as female.

Parks told Action News Jax Courtney Cole LGBTQ supporters usually look forward to June because its PRIDE month.

June is a time for the LGBTQ community to celebrate life, but after Sunday night’s incident, many are fearing for their lives instead.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says a black male, in his 20s, who appeared to identify as a woman--was found dead at the Quality Inn on Dix Ellis Trail just after 1:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

Paige Mahogany Parks,  a local advocate for the LGBTQ community says she was devastated when she found out about it.

"I was very upset. My friend called me this morning and she asked me about the transgender woman that was killed at the hotel…and I was like no, not again,” said Parks.

Action News Jax told you earlier this month about Antash'a English, a trans-woman who was found dead on Ella Street.

In February, Celine Walker was shot and killed in a hotel near the St. Johns Town Center.​

Parks told me she worries someone could be targeting all of the transgender women in the Jacksonville area.

“It's like Jacksonville is becoming a hub for transgenders being murdered here and it doesn't make any sense,” said Parks.

FEBRUARY 4: Advocate calls for community support after murder of transgender woman

JSO investigators were seen at a room, with a balcony, on the third floor taking pictures and removing what appeared to be a body.

Parks told Action News Jax she plans to lay low, because she said she wants to live to see another day.

“There's a target on every transgender woman's back here. We have to watch our back, we have to be careful where we go. You know, it's crazy that we have to live in solitude, just to stay alive.”

JSO says they don’t know much about the suspect, except that he or she was  driving a beige vehicle.

JUNE 8: Neighbor who called 911 to get help for shooting victim talks to Action News Jax​

Anyone with information is urged to call crime stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

Parks says anyone who’s tired of all of the violence is welcome to join her at the Duval County Courthouse on Wednesday, for a Trans Lives Matter rally, at 7:00 p.m.

JUNE 1: Jacksonville murder victim identified as 38-year-old transgender woman