Police report Kiesha Jenkins was climbing out of her car at 2:30 Tuesday morning when she was ambushed by five to six men, beaten and fatally shot in the back twice.
The 22-year-old was pronounced dead at 2:53 am yesterday at Einstein Medical Center, making Jenkins one of 20 transgender women in the United States to be reported murdered in 2015, the Advocate reports.
Philadelphia Police Department's Office of Public Affairs spokesperson, Officer Tanya Little, claimed the department will “leave no stone unturned” in its search for Jenkins' killers, bearing in mind her gender identity may have played some part in the heinous act.
The victim's gender is definitely something that investigators are looking into and we will consider her identity under the umbrella of all motives. We are canvasing the area where the homicide occurred for witnesses and investigators hope to examine available surveillance videos.
The Philadelphia native's death was certainly not an isolated incident for the city. On May 18, black trans victim London Chanel was discovered dead just after midnight outside an abandoned house in North Philadelphia. The 21-year-old, who had moved east a few years earlier from a youth shelter in Victoria, Texas, had been stabbed twice.
What the state of Pennsylvania lacks in legislation tailored to hate crimes, the city of Philadelphia attempted to compensate for when, last year, council members unanimously passed a policy enabling law enforcement to more harshly persecute criminals whose actions are influenced by biases.
Of the reported 20 transgender women murdered in the US this year, up from 12 in 2014, an overwhelming majority of them were trans women of color.
Citations: Philly Trans Woman Becomes 20th Murdered in U.S. in 2015 (Advocate)