She was 21 when her 20-year-old boyfriend shot her multiple times inside a parked car in Baton Rouge. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Law enforcement and media are using her deadname and misgendering her, but friends on social media say she was known as Fifty Bandz. Her name was spelled various ways across social media platforms. That was January 28, 2021.
Police arrested the suspect on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
From The Advocate newspaper of Baton Rouge (article uses Fifty’s assigned surname, but appropriate pronouns)
Detectives interviewed several witnesses to solve the case. During the interviews, they learned that Wyatt — who friends called ‘Fifty’ — was a transgender woman and had been involved in a relationship with Brooks for over a year, according to his arrest warrant.
Witnesses described the relationship as “very volatile” and said Brooks “was not open or forthcoming” about dating the victim, which “had caused personal problems” for them, detectives wrote in the warrant.
At some point over the summer, Wyatt posted videos of them together, according to the warrant. Witnesses said Brooks had threatened to kill her in the past.
The two had broken up but started dating again in the days leading up to the murder, police said. Just hours before the shooting, Wyatt and her friend met Brooks somewhere in the Brookstown area to deliver him a cell phone, police said. He became upset that they made the delivery in front of his girlfriend and brother, witnesses told detectives.
Wyatt and Brooks then started arguing over the phone, according to the warrant. She borrowed a vehicle and told witnesses she was going to retrieve the cell phone she had given him.
She called another person while driving back to Brookstown and started describing the events of that night, police said. She then put the person on hold, saying Brooks was calling to tell her where exactly to meet him.
Police said she never returned to the unfinished conversation. Wyatt was found dead inside a vehicle around 11 p.m. Thursday, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
I shared the whole excerpt because it is important to understand that this was not a so-called “trans panic” incident – they had a long-standing relationship, one that put Fifty at risk. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, people of color (both Black and Latinx) made up 77% of the reports of Interpersonal Violence (IPV) while transwoman made up 47% of the victims.
According to her social media profiles, Fifty loved to dance and laugh with her friends and was self-aware about the distinction between online appearances and her private life. She also indicated that her birthday is this or next week, but the precise date is unclear.
She is the fifth trans or gender nonconforming person reported killed in 2021. She’s the fourth Black trans woman. She is the youngest women at age 21 and one of two individuals under age 25.
Rest in power, Fifty. You deserved a joyful life, you deserved to be loved and respected by your boyfriends and by everyone. You deserved to be remembered for your real identity. Your life mattered.
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.
- Dominique Jackson – Jackson, Mississippi. January 25, 2021. Age 30.
- Bianca ‘Muffin’ Bankz – Atlanta, Georgia. January 21, 2021. Age 31.
- Fifty Bandzzz – Baton Rouge, Louisiana. January 28, 2021. Age 21.
We are also still monitoring these supicious deaths from 20/21 (in addition to the 44 documented killings.)
- Fendi Mon’ezah Armstrong – Lithonia, Georgia, November 11, 2020. Age 39
- Kimberely Patricia Cope – Athens, Georgia, December 27, 2020. Age 40.
- Natasha Keianna – Detroit, Michigan, January 12, 2021. Age 37.
- Bonaire ‘Bonnie’ Black – Atlanta, Georgia, December 31, 2020. Age 19.