WASHINGTON — One gay man has been shot, and another gay man and a transgender woman were badly beaten in separate attacks earlier this week in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in central D.C.
The gay male victims remained hospitalized this week, with one being treated for a bullet wound to his liver and the other awaiting surgery Wednesday afternoon to repair a broken jaw. The transgender woman was treated and released for a head injury after being knocked unconscious, reported the Washington Blade.
Police have listed the attacks against the two gay men as anti-gay hate crimes. The attack against the transgender woman was not listed as a hate crime but police are looking into the possibility that it may have been an anti-trans hate crime, according to a police report.
In the first incident, which took place inside the International House of Pancakes restaurant on March 11, a 31-year-old gay man was shot after getting into a a verbal altercation with another patron.
Aaron Woodland, who identified himself as the victim’s cousin, said he and another cousin were with the victim at the restaurant when the incident occurred.
According to Woodland, the three suspects were sitting at a table near where the victim and the two cousins were seated. He said the suspects referred to the victim and the two cousins repeatedly as “faggies” while the two parties sat at their separate tables.
Woodland said the altercation began when the victim got up to pay the restaurant bill and the three suspects blocked his path. He said a fight started after the victim pushed his way past the suspects.
Police have listed the shooting incident as a hate-related assault with intent to kill.
The second incident occurred Monday evening, March 12, when the victim, a 29-year-old gay man, got out of a cab about two blocks from his home. A source said accounts from witnesses indicate two or three male suspects attacked the victim while calling him anti-gay names as he began to walk home.
The victim was scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday afternoon to repair a broken jaw.
According to the victim’s partner, the blows to face that caused the jaw to break were so severe that the victim had to be sedated with a breathing tube inserted to prevent swelling of tissue caused by the injury from preventing him from breathing.
In the third incident, later Monday evening, a transgender woman was attacked by two young male suspects — the victim was reportedly hit from behind and knocked unconscious.
According to the police report, the victim initially told police she could not remember what, if anything, was said at the time of the assault, but later said that she did believe she was attacked because of her status as a transgender woman.
Based on a lack of evidence to indicate the attackers used anti-transgender language or showed an anti-trans bias, the case could not immediately be listed as a hate crime, the police report indicated.
Full story at the Washington Blade →