From Naples, Florida comes horrifying news of the vicious murder of 31 year old Yaz’min Shancez, a trans woman. Yaz’min leaves behind a family, friends and coworkers. While her family does misgender her in the media, it seems they had a relationship and certainly must be going through sheer hell right now.
(Note: these articles misgender and misname Yaz’min, but they are the only reliable sources I can find right now.)
A witness said she heard screaming and yelling early in the morning.
Teneeshia Peterson, lives nearby and said “right now my heart is pounding – I never experienced nothing like this so close to home.”
Police say this is an isolated innocent.
We are told Budget rental workers found the body behind the building at about 8 am Thursday.
Hank Morroni saw the body when he was returning a rental truck.
“One quick glance–there was obviously a charred body. You couldn’t recognize if it was a man or a woman, and it was still smoldering,” Morroni said.
A charred black wall is where witnesses say the victim was found.
A witness said all that was left on the burned victim was a little bit of shoes.
Jerry Hinkle was one of the first people to find the body. Hinkle said the victim had been shot.
Police are investigating and will try to determine if Yaz’min was the victim of a the hate crime. It is hard to imagine that someone who has been shot and set on fire was not the victim of some sort of hate, especially since the Florida media is doing a terrible job simply reporting on the crime. However, I recognize that investigations take time and we can only hope that Florida’s LGBTQ community will rally to seek justice for Yaz’min. I have little doubt that they will.
The Center of Southwest Florida is organizing a vigil on Sunday and is current collecting donations to help with Yaz’min’s final expenses.
The photo below is hard to veiw. It shows the temporary memorial set up on the spot where Yaz’min’s body was found. But we need to look at this and remember that Yaz’min was our sister and she experienced a horrifying brutal murder. For whatever reason someone decided to inflict this violent death on her, it remains true that she was our sister and she deserves justice.
When we prepare for the Pittsburgh Dyke and Trans March tomorrow, let’s remember for whom we march – ourselves, our sisters and brothers, our neighbors. For visibility in our lives and our deaths. For survival.