A 33-year-old transgender interior designer was found shot to death this past Saturday in Augusta, Georgia.
Felycya Harris’s body was found after 1 p.m. at a city park with one gunshot wound. An autopsy on Monday classified her death as a homicide.
“I went outside and we were just sitting in the car, laughing and talking and jiving on each other” before her death, her friend Ricola Collier told WRDW.
She is the 31st known transgender or non-binary person killed this year in the U.S., according to HRC, in what has become one of the most violent years on record for transgender people. The number is believed to be higher as many murders are not reported in the media and many victims who are transgender or non-binary are misgendered in media reports.
Most of the victims this year have been Black and latina transgender women.
“With news of the death of Felycya Harris, we have hit a grim milestone: we have now matched the highest number of transgender or gender non-conforming people who were victims of fatal violence in one year – and there are three more months left in the year,” said HRC President Alphonso David.
According to the organization, Harris ran her own interior decorating business and said she could do “just about anything with decorating” to make people feel better in their living spaces. She also worked at a furniture store and taught dance.
Her friends said they will remember her “laugh. The smile – the smiles. The talks. The arguments. The attitudes. Everybody is going to remember who Felycya Harris is.”
According to the Augusta Chronicle, friends and family are sharing “Justice for Felycya” posts on Facebook. Police have not yet said if they have a suspect.
At least two other transgender women were murdered in the past two weeks. Mia Green, 29, of Philadelphia, Louisiana was found shot in the neck on September 28 and later died at the hospital.
Abdullah Ibn El-Amin Jaamia, in whose car Green’s body was found, has been arrested in connection to her death.
In Los Angeles, 42-year-old Daniela Hernandez was stabbed in the throat Sunday night after she was surrounded by a group of men in a park who told her “something to the effect of, ‘We don’t want gays in the park,'” according to LAPD.
“We don’t know exactly why, but we know it was simply because she’s trans,” said TransLatina Coalition President and CEO Bamby Salcedo.