Kiesha Jenkins, a Transgender Woman, Was Beaten and Killed By a Group of Men in Philadelphia

In Depth

Early Tuesday morning in Philadelphia, a transgender woman was jumped by at least five men and fatally shot twice in the back.

Kiesha Jenkins was dropped off on Wingohocking Street on Tuesday at about 2:30 a.m., according to NBC News, but as she left the car five men descended upon her. After they’d beaten her, one pulled out a gun and fired two shots into Jenkins’s back. The suspects fled the scene, and Jenkins was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Police are investigating the incident but aren’t yet sure if it qualifies as a hate crime.

“Right now we don’t have any motive,” said Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark. “We don’t know if it’s potentially a hate crime or if it was a robbery. We really don’t know. It’s too early in the investigation to tell.”

The police are looking for any surveillance video available of the incident and for the identity of the driver who dropped Jenkins off. They say 22-year-old Jenkins, a North Philly native, was far from home when she got out of the vehicle. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer, her friends and family are devastated:

“She had her witty ways,” Page said, laughing. “She was wild in a good way. You wanted to be around her.”
She said she was shocked to learn of her friend’s death, but scared, too. “I thought – that could have been me,” she said.

Jenkins is the second transgender woman to be killed in Philadelphia in 2015. Twenty-one transgender people have been killed across America this year.

Authorities request that anyone with new information on Jenkins’s death contact the Philadelphia Police at 215-686-3334.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via NBC.

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