Natalia Smüt Lopez was a 24-year-old Black Latinx trans woman was murdered by a man she was dating near her home in San Jose, California on Friday, April 23, 2021. From Planettransgender:
The Milpitas Police Department responded to a 911 call on April 23rd made by a male who identified himself as Elijah Cruz Segura, a 22-year-old Union City resident, said Captain John Torrez in a press release.
On April 23, 2021, at 2:29 A.M., Elijah Segura called 9-1-1 stating the victim was injured and that he was responsible for her injuries. Within three minutes, two officers arrived on the scene and took Segura into custody. Officers located the victim, (identified by friends as Natalia Smüt), laying on the ground nearby in the 1000 block of Hillview Court.
Officers provided aid to the victim who had significant injuries until fire department personnel and paramedics arrived. The victim was taken to a local hospital but despite the efforts of first responders and medical staff, she succumbed to her injuries.
Natalia was a beloved member of the local drag scene.
Last night, a Bay Area tans woman was murdered. This woman was my friend.Natalia Smut is her name, and she was a fire cracker. I remember as a new drag queen in the area, I’d go to shows and she ALWAYS did a lip sync to whatever song was my fav at the time. It’s like she knew! pic.twitter.com/OV8WDgRDgx — cindy campbell 😇 (@mariosonny17) April 23, 2021
She had graduated from Independence High School in her hometown of San Jose, California. She described herself as a “non-binary angel spreading queer individuality & self love.” According to her Instagram, she was a rapper as well. Friends have organized a crowdfund to help her family with final arrangements
Her death at the hands of an intimate partner is not an uncommon story – here in Pennsylvania, Chynaa Carrillo was also shot to death by a person she was dating.
A 2015 study by UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law found that between 31% and 50% of transgender people have experienced dating violence at some point in their lives, compared to between 28% and 33% of the general population.
Natalia is the nineteenth trans, nonbinary or gender nonconforming person reported killed in 2021. Eighteen of these neighbors have been BIPOC. She is the fourth victim who identified as Latinx. In total, there have been nineteen murders or suspicious deaths in the first 112 days of 2021, an average of one death every 5.8 days. 14 of these victims were under the age of 30. So far. That we know of as many deaths go unreported or unacknowledged. Note – in this summary, I include suspicious deaths that as you can read below are often later confirmed homicides.
Rest in power, Natalia. Your impact on the world was too short, but very big from the stories your friends are sharing. You deserved so many more years to embrace and light the world on fire.
May your memory be a revolution.
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.
- Rayanna Pardo – Los Angeles, California, March 17, 2021. Age 26. ***
- Aidelen Evans – Port Arthur, Texas, March 2021. Age 24 ****
- Dominique Lucious – Springfield, Missouri, April 8, 2021. Age 26.
- Jaida Peterson – Charlotte, North Carolina, April 4, 2021. Age 29.
- Remy Fennell – Charlotte, North Carolina, April 15, 2021. Age 28.
- Tiara Banks – Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2021. Age 26.
- Natalia Smüt Lopez – San Jose, California, April 23, 2021. Age 24.
** Jenna’s death was originally reported as suspicious, but has since been reported as a homicide. *** Rayanna’s cause of death was originally undetermined, but has since been reported as a homicide. **** Aidelen’s cause of death was unspecified, but has since been reported as a homicide
We are also still monitoring these suspicious 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.
- Koko Nia Labeija – Chicago, Illinois, Found June 2020, Identified April 2021, Age 19.