Her name was Rayanna Pardo.
A 26-year-old Latina Trans woman was killed by a driver who struck her with their vehicle on St. Patrick’s Day in Los Angeles. Family and friends believe she was being harassed by a crowd of people, including her then-boyfriend who allegedly pushed into the path of the oncoming car. Reports range from a “few people harassing her” to a “transphobic mob chasing her into traffic.”
According to PlanetTransgender:
26-year-old Transgender woman Rayanna Pardo was killed by a drunk driver on Wednesday the 17th of March. She was killed at E. 5th St. and S. Eastern Ave. not far from her home. Her family said she was hit by a car as she was trying to get away from people harassing her.
PlanetTransgender is also reporting that the driver of the car that struck and killed Rayanna was drunk. That information was also shared in a Yahoo News article.
Rayanna was born on August 14, 1994. According to her social media profiles, she was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. She had previously worked at Starbucks.
The TransLatin@ Coalition organized a vigil for Rayanna this weekend to support the call for a full investigation and for more resources to be invested in supports and services for Trans women of color
“We are mourning the loss of our sister Ryanna Pardo (sic). This is just another example of the societal injustices that our community experiences. If she had the services and support that she needed, I’m sure instead of being dead she would have been thriving as the young beautiful woman that she was, but here we are…” Bamby Salcedo, President, and CEO of The TransLatin@ Coalition.
Some law enforcement and media have misgendered and deadnamed Rayanna, adding the additional task of addressing those inaccuracies to her grieving friends and family. Some of her friends and family also use her deadname and male pronouns intermixed with the name she lived by and female pronouns.
Rayanna’s mother, Monique Rangel, shared this information to justify her sense that this was a deliberate act, not an accident.
Before [s]he was killed [s]he called to talk to me and just b4 [s]he hung up [s]he said “momma if anything happens to me tonight just want to tell you that I LOVE YOU”
Local media spoke with family members at the vigil.
“Everyone should love everyone,” said Armando Rangel, Rayanna’s brother. “At the end of the day, that’s all we have.”
Family and friends have gathered every night in the same place since Rayanna Pardo’s death.
“I can’t even sleep,” Monica Pardo, Rayanna’s mother, said.
“Every time I close my eyes, I just picture [her] getting hit by a car, and so I stay awake.”
That’s heartrending – to close your eyes and imagine your adult child being hit by a car, over and over again. This family deserves answers. Bad enough to know a driver under the influence (who has not yet been identified to my knowledge) killed your loved one, but to also carry the suspicion that someone intentionally put her in front of that car?
At this point, local law enforcement has not determined if this was an accident or caused by the actions of the people behind Rayanna on the sidewalk. So her death remains a suspicious death until more information is available. Hopefully, the police investigating will be able to pull nearby video footage and talk with witnesses to determine the sequence of events and give the family some peace of mind. We are also waiting on confirmation about the condition of the driver.
No word yet on final arrangements for Rayanna.
Rayanna is the thirteenth trans, nonbinary or gender nonconforming person reported killed in 2021. Twelve of these thirteen neighbors have been BIPOC. She is the third victim who identified as Latinx. Rayanna is one of seven victims under the age of 26. In total, there have been THIRTEEN murders or suspicious deaths in the first 76 days of 2021, an average of one death every 5.8 days. So far. That we know of.
Rest in power, Rayanna. You deserved a long life filled with joy, family, friends, and peace. I am so sorry your final moments were surrounded by people who did not keep your safe or protect you. I hope you feel the love of those who tried wherever you are now.
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.
- Alexus “Kimmy” Braxton – Miami, Florida. February 4, 2021. Age 45.
- Chynaa Carrillo – New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. February 18, 2021. Age 24.
- Jeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright – Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 16.
- Jasmine Cannady – Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 22.
- Jenna Franks – Jacksonville, North Carolina, February 24, 2021. Age 34. **
- Diamond Nicole ‘Kyree’ Sanders – Cincinnati, Ohio. March 3, 2021. Age 23.
** Jenna’s death was originally reported as suspicious, but has since been reported as a homicide.
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.
- Rayanna Pardo – Los Angeles, California, March 17, 2021. Age 26.