21-Year-Old Trans Man Shot to Death in Puerto Rico

Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín
Photo via Facebook

On January 9, 2021, a Latinx trans man, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, was murdered Saturday, January 9, in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Damian Valentin was born and raised in San Juan.  He turned 21 in November of last year. His facebook page is filled with ruminations on sexism, politics, pop culture, and more. 

Initial reports misgendered him causing other activists to speak out.

According to activist Pedro Julio Serrano:

The body of the victim, according to the news channel, was dumped on the PR-181 highway in Trujillo Alto. A citizen who was driving through the area reportedly hit an object that was later identified as the body with multiple gunshot wounds.

Metro Weekly reports

On January 9, a woman was driving down Highway 181 in Trujillo Alto around 3:25 a.m., when she hit an object on the pavement, but could not see due to the lack of lighting. She stopped her car and went to check, and discovered a body suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The person was described as 180 pounds, about 5’2″, with short brown hair, wearing black shorts, a black coat, and long black stockings.

Police who responded to the scene could not immediately ascribe a motive for the shooting.

Serrano also told local media that thorough investigations into other LGBTQ deaths warrant investigation.

In the same way, he demanded that the circumstances in which Edwin Matías González, 42, died on January 7 in Lares be investigated. In addition, he requests that all angles be investigated in the murder of a man who has not been identified and who was found half naked on January 5 on the beach located in the Playita de Vega Baja sector.

Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín is the 2nd victim of transgender based fatal violence in the United States in 2021. At 21, he is the younger victim. In 2020, among 44 deaths, five took place in Puerto Rico.

Rest in power, Samuel. You deserved a lifetime of joy and happiness. I am so sorry you were robbed of that opportunity. I hope you find comfort or peace knowing we will continue to say your name.

May your memory be a revolution.


This is our list of transgender, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary neighbors lost to violence in 2021. Please do not copy or share this list without attribution.

  • Tyianna Davarea Alexandra – Chicago, Illinois. January 6, 2021. Age 28.
  • Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín – Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. January 9, 2021. Age 21.

We are also still monitoring these supicious deaths from 2020 (in addition to the 44 documented killings.)