Black Trans Woman Aerrion Burnett, 37, Found Shot to Death in Independence, Missouri

Aerrion Burnett
Photo via Facebook

Last Saturday night in Independence, Missouri, a 37-year-old Black trans woman was shot to her death. Her name was Aerrion Burnett

She is now the 27th known victim of fatal transphobic violence.


Independence Police are looking for leads in an early morning homicide. Officers responded to a call around 3:40 a.m. Saturday at East 13th Street and Brookside Avenue.

They found 37-year-old Aerrion Burnett, of Kansas City, Missouri, shot to death in a grassy area on the side of the road.

A Kansas City native, Aerrion attended Central High School. Her friends and neighbors organized a candlelight vigil for her. She had spoken with family members Friday afternoon, not knowing they had planned a surprise birthday party for her a few days later. That little fact just hits me in the gut because she didn’t get to turn 38 and the party turned into a vigil. Clearly, she was loved by friends and family.

KCTV reports on her friend’s reactions during the vigil.

“Aerrion was a Barbie,” said Korea Kelly. “She was a goddess. Can you hear me? Fun! When I say goddess, she was everything. If you wanted to have a good day, you need to smile, Aerrion was the person you wanted by your side.”

Burnett is one of several black trans women killed in the KC metro in recent years.

“When is the senseless violence to Black trans women in Kansas City going to stop?” said Kelly.

Burnett’s best friend Darnell “Dee Dee” Pearson was killed on Christmas Eve of 2011 by a man who was angry he had sex with her not knowing she was trans.  The murderer, Kenyan Jones, was convicted of second-degree murder and armed criminal action, and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Police have not announced any information or leads in the murder of Aerrion. Authorities are asking that anyone with information to contact the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.

Aerrion is the 27th trans or GNC individual to be murdered in the US during 2020.  If you are appalled, I hope you will keep that in mind when deciding if and whom to vote for as well as how you invest in trans led organizations.

Rest in power, Aerrion. Your life mattered and should have extended much longer. People who loved you will continue to seek justice and for your trans siblings who deserve better. I hope you find peace, Aerrion.  We will always say your name.


My list of transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary neighbors who have lost their lives to violent deaths in the US during 2020.

  1. Dustin Parker – McAlester, Oklahoma. January 1, 2020. Age 25.
  2. Alexa Negron Luciano – Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. February 24, 2020. Age 29.
  3. Yampi Mendez Arocho – Moca, Puerto Rico, March 5, 2020. Age 19.
  4. Monica Diamond – Charlotte, North Carolina. March 18, 2020. Age 34.
  5. Lexi – Harlem, New York City, New York. March 28, 2020. Age 33.
  6. Johanna Metzger – Baltimore, Maryland. April 1, 2020. Age 25.
  7. Serena Angelique Velazquezz – Puerto Rico. April 22, 2020. Age 32.
  8. Layla Pelaez – Puerto Rico. April 22, 2020. Age 21.
  9. Penélope Díaz Ramírez – Puerto Rico. April 13, 2020. Age 31
  10. Nina Pop – Sikeston, Missouri. May 3, 2020. Age 28.
  11. Helle Jae O’Regan – San Antonio, Texas. May 6, 2020. Age 20.
  12. Tony McDade – Tallahassee, Florida. May 27, 2020. Age 38.
  13. Dominique Rem’mie Fells – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. June 8, 2020. Age 27.
  14. Riah Milton – Liberty Township, Ohio. June 9, 2020. Age 25.
  15. Selena Reyes Hernandez – Chicago. May 31, 2020. Age 37.
  16. Brayla Stone – Sherwood, Arkansas. June 25, 2020. Age 17.
  17. Merci Mack – Dallas, June 30, 2020. Age 22.
  18. Jayne Thompson – Colorado, May 2020. Age 33.
  19. Bree Black – Pompana Beach, Florida, July 3, 2020. Age 27.
  20. Draya McCarty – Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 2020. Age unknown.
  21. Shaki Peters – Amite, Louisiana, July 1, 2020. Age 32.
  22. Marilyn Cazares – Brawley, California, July 13, 2020. Age 22.
  23. Tatiana Hall – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, approx June 29, 2020. Age 22.
  24. Queasha Hardy – Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 27, 2020. Age 24.
  25. Tiffany Harris – Bronx, New York, July 26, 2020. Age 32.
  26. Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears – Portland, Oregon, July 28, 2020. Age 32.
  27. Aerrion Burnett – Independence, Missouri, September 19, 2020. Age 37.

Please do not cut and paste this list to share without a link to the post. Thank you.

Transgender Homicide


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