66 Year Old Trans Woman K.C. Haggard Was Murdered in Fresno on Thursday

K.C. Haggard
Image of K.C. captured from the video that recorded her murder.

K.C. Haggard was on the street, reportedly during a routine nocturnal walk around her neighborhood, when she was brutally stabbed and left to die in the street. She was 66 and newly out.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the homicide of K.C. Haggard, a transgender woman who was stabbed to death in the street in Fresno, California on Thursday, July 23rd. According to the Advocate, the driver of an SUV summoned K.C. Haggard over to the vehicle, moments before fatally stabbing her in the neck. Local transgender activists are calling for this homicide to be investigated as a hate crime. Local media coverage (warning: graphic video content) is highlighting a lack of bystander intervention after K.C. Haggard was attacked.

Where were the bystanders? Where are we as we continue to read and blog about the unfolding epidemic of violence against trans women and against QTPOC across the United States? When I come across an online debate (usually heated) over the statistics – have we lost 11 sisters or 13? What about this person? – I can’t help but feel some gratitude that those people are paying close enough attention to want to figure it out. I think most people tune out.

The video of K.C.’s murder is difficult to watch. How do you stand by while someone dies in the street?

While little is known about Haggard at this point, both of her two Facebook profiles (the second opened after she stopped posting to the first) indicates that she was retired and a graduate of Chapman University. The more recently updated profile — which was kept under her male birth name and pronouns — also includes a four-month-old post in which Haggard refers to herself as “K.c.” In it, she gives Rep’s Sports Bar, located on Blackstone Avenue, the same street on which she died, a five-star review. Haggard asks in the post for her friends — “all TG [transgender] girls” — to come “hangout.” She had three other Facebook profiles under “K.c. Haggard” that used female pronouns.

Haggard formerly worked as a security guard for Fresno County Private Security and as a legal marketer for LegaShield, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was originally from Visalia, Calif. 

Police are now asking for the public’s assistance in locating the murder suspect’s vehicle, a light-colored Saturn SUV with a sun roof and unidentified markings on the front passenger-side door. KMPH reported a witness describing the vehicle as two-toned, white on the bottom with chrome wheels, and that there were more than two people inside the vehicle. Anyone with information about her murder is asked to call Fresno Police homicide detective Alfonso Castillo at (559) 621-2449 or Leonard Cabrera at (559) 621-2451. Anonymous tips can also be given to Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.

A vigil was held 24 hours after K.C.’s murder. A second vigil will be held at the Fresno LGBT Community Center next week. We anticipate it to be on Thursday, July 30th at 6 pm. If you want to watch the video, The Advocate has all of the links.

Rest in power, K.C. I regret you didn’t have more time to live your authentic life and I deeply mourn the circumstances of your death.

Regarding those statistics, this is my personal running tally. And some tears accompany the fact that I have a running tally.

K.C.  is the 15th violent LGBTQ death in 2015, the twelfth trans woman and the tenth trans woman of color. Just to be transparent, I’m including violent deaths of QTPOC and the trans community in this list. This does not include individuals who have died by suicide. Some accounts focus on trans women of color, some lists don’t include everyone on my list. Other lists include other people. It is difficult to simplify these complicated intersectional identities to a list. Of course it is, but we have to keep doing it – to make sure people understand how awful this epidemic of violence is.

Papi Edwards, 20, Louisville, January 9
Lamia Beard, 30, Norfolk on January 17
Ty Underwood, 24, Tyler TX on January 26
Yazmin Vash Payne, 33, LA on January 31
Taja de Jesus, 36, San Fran February 1
Penny Proud, 21, New Orleans February 10
Bri Golec, 22, Akron on February 13
Kristina Grant Infiniti, 47, Miami on February 15
London Chanel, 21, Philadelphia on May 18
Mercedes Williamson, 17, Alabama on May 30
India Clarke, 25, Tampa on July 22
K.C. Haggard, 66, Fresno on July 23

There is also the deaths of our lesbian and queer sisters of color.

 

K.C Haggard
Photo from vigil in Fresno. Photo courtesy of Chris Jarvis at Gay Central Valley
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