Police in Dallas are investigating a shooting attack on a transgender woman as a possible hate crime. The Friday night incident comes amid community concern over a series of attacks on transgender women in the city.
Police on Sunday asked for help identifying the suspect in the latest attack, releasing a picture of his red Chevrolet truck. They said the unidentified man pulled up alongside the victim as she was walking just after 11 p.m., yelled a number of slurs regarding her gender identity and then opened fire, striking her multiple times in the chest and arm.
The victim survived. Because of her injuries, police said they weren't able to interview the victim until Sunday, when she provided details of the shooting. They asked anyone who recognized the suspect's truck or had information about the shooting to contact them.
Attacks on transgender women in Dallas have drawn concern from advocates nationwide, but police on Monday said there's no evidence linking the latest attack to any other incidents. In June, a 22-year-old man was arrested on a murder charge in the death of a transgender woman Chynal Lindsey, whose body was found in a Dallas lake. The same month, 33-year-old Kendrell Lavar Lyles was arrested on murder charges in the deaths of three other women in Dallas, including 23-year-old transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker in May. The two other murder victims were reportedly not transgender.
A month before her death, Booker was the victim of a brutal mob assault, and video of the attack went viral and drew national outrage. Authorities have said that attack is not linked to her murder.
When Lindsey was killed, Dallas police said they were "concerned" about the attacks on transgender women and had called in the FBI to help, but had no definitive evidence to link them. Dallas Police Major Vincent Weddington said in May that Booker's slaying, the shooting death of a transgender woman in a car in October 2018 and a stabbing attack on a transgender woman in April all have "similarities," and Dallas police now believe Lyles is also responsible for the stabbing attack, a spokeswoman told CBS News.
In another case, the death of a transgender woman who was found in a Dallas field in July 2017 remains open and is being investigated as an unexplained death.
Advocacy groups say attacks on transgender people in the U.S. are on the rise, "CBS This Morning" reported. Last year, the Human Rights Campaign tracked at least 26 deaths due to fatal violence. The majority of victims were black transgender women.
The department issued a statement to CBS News saying it is committed to the public safety of all residents and understands the LGBTQ community's concerns, "including the safety concerns of our transgender community both locally and nationally."
"Our DPD LGBTQ+ Outreach efforts continue to provide us with an opportunity and avenue to proactively engage our LGBTQ+ residents so that we can quickly disseminate information," the department said.
Hate crime statutes in Texas allow for more stringent penalties for crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias, but not for crimes motivated by bias against someone's gender identity or expression, leading equality advocates to call for change.
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