The Wednesday stabbing of a young black transgender woman in broad daylight on a Washington street is being investigated as a "possible" hate crime based on information obtained from the surviving victim, authorities tell the Washington Post and the Blade.
Metropolitan D.C. Police announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the death of Joshua Mack of Clinton, Maryland, who used the name Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack. Another transgender woman was also stabbed on the sidewalk in front of 209 Q St., N.W.. The stabbings occurred about two blocks from the North Capitol Street offices of Transgender Health Empowerment. Director of Programs Brian Watson says a THE client knows the survivor, says the victims were headed to the agency and offers this account:
The two stopped in a Giant supermarket at Ninth and O Streets, N.W., a man walking with a woman started an argument with Mack. According to Watson, the surviving victim believes the unidentified man singled out Mack because he perceived Mack as being transgendered. The surviving victim said she and Mack left the Giant store and continued walking in the direction of the THE offices. The man who started the argument at the Giant store apparently followed them, Watson reported the surviving witness as saying.
When Mack and the surviving victim reached the 200 block of Q Street, N.W., en route to the THE offices, an exchange of words between the man and Mack "escalated," the surviving witness told the THE client. A fight ensued and the man stabbed Mack and the other victim, according to the surviving witness's account.
Meanwhile: NaNa Boo's family says they knew NaNa was transgendered "and respected and loved her" and are pleading for witnesses to come forward. The Blade reports: "Beverlyn Mack struggled to hold back tears as she and a daughter and son, who are Tyli'a Mack's siblings, spoke to reporters. 'I don't like it because my child was born just like everyone else—through a mother's womb,' she said. 'And I don't think it's fair for other people to take other people's lives.' "
A candlelight vigil will be held tonight to commemorate Mack's life at 6:30 p.m. on the 200 block of Q Street, N.W., at the site of the murder.
Thanks BALTIMORE FEMME and BRIAN WATSON
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