A trans woman in Dallas is scheduled to appear in court today to face murder charges. She’s claiming self-defense.
The shooting occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, May 18 last year at an apartment complex near Dallas Love Field. The suspect, Gaby Vidanapereyra, who is trans, has been held in detention since she was arrested the next day, waiting for the case to come to court.
According to Dallas police, officers arrived at the scene around 2:45 a.m., where they found the 35-year-old man, Victor Suarez, lying on the ground next to the front door of an apartment. Dallas Fire-Rescue took Suarez to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries. Surveillance video revealed a heavy-set woman firing multiple shots at Suarez as he fled.
Police arrested 27-year-old Vidanapereyra the following morning.
The other facts in the case are in dispute.
According to the Dallas Voice, Stacey Monroe, who befriended the suspect while she was in detention, said Suarez was shot after a struggle, after he pulled a gun on Vidanapereyra, saying, “Today I’m going to teach you how to be a man.”
Monroe said: “Gaby got back from the Miss Universe contest in Florida, late at night and was going to her apartment. Her neighbor solicits her. Sex for money.”
Monroe said Vidanapereyra resisted the entreaty but Suarez persisted. Ultimately, Vidanapereyra agreed and got into Suarez’s car.
After the encounter, Monroe says Suarez pulled the gun. Monroe claimed the man had a history of violent behavior, and Vidanapereyra was afraid she’d be another victim of violence against trans women.
She said Vidanapereyra reached for the gun and the two struggled. When the safety slipped, Suarez was shot in the chest. Despite the injury, Suarez managed to get out of the vehicle.
That’s when surveillance video recorded Vidanapereyra shooting at Suarez as he ran. The security video did not capture what happened in the car.
The next morning, Monroe said, Vidanapereyra came forward and admitted she shot Suarez, in self-defense. Vidanapereyra was arrested for Suarez’s murder and transported to the Dallas County Jail. According to the Dallas PD Beat, “Through the course of the follow-up investigation by the Homicide Unit, detectives determined that suspect [deadname], a 27-year old Latin male, was responsible for the murder of the victim, Victor Suarez.”
Monroe says that over the course of her detention, Vidanapereyra was offered a plea bargain of 25 years in prison, which she declined, maintaining her innocence. Subsequent plea deals for 20 and then 15 years, with the possibility of parole in six years, followed.
In a Facebook post, Monroe urged supporters to show up at Vidanapereyra’s hearing. “Please join us on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 9 a.m. in Judge Brandon Birmingham’s 292nd District Court on the sixth floor of the Crowley Courts Building to show your support for Gaby. We are asking those in attendance to wear her favorite colors red and pink.”
“Please share! share! share!” Monroe wrote.