Her name was Iris Santos. She was a 22-year-old Latinx trans woman living in Houston, Texas. She is now the 20th transgender American to be murdered during 2021.
Iris Santos was shot and killed at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Friday, April 23, in the 8600 block on Westheimer Road, according to a Twitter post by Officer Jo Jones, HPD’s LGBTQ Liason. Office Jones later posted video of the suspect running from the scene.
The shooting took place around 9:45 p.m. Friday, April 23, 2021 outside of a Chick-Fil-A on Westheimer Road near Fondren in west Houston, police said.
Investigators said the manager at the restaurant heard gunshots and alerted authorities. When officers arrived, they found a woman on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound.
The victim was rushed to a hospital, where she later died. Police said they are questioning a person of interest.
According to OutSmart an online flyer created by HPD states that Santos was sitting at a picnic table when an unknown suspect approached and opened fire, striking her. Santos died as a result of the gunshot injuries sustained during the shooting.
No word on final arrangements. Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
Iris is the twenty first trans, nonbinary or gender nonconforming person reported killed in 2021. Nineteen of these neighbors have been BIPOC. She is the fifth victim who identified as Latinx. In total, there have been twenty-one murders or suspicious deaths in the first 112 days of 2021, an average of one death every 5.3 days. 15 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.
The horror of so many young lives lost fills me with despair – 75% are under the age of 30. At this time in 2020, we had documented the loss of nine trans neighbors – a year that eventually broke records by recording 44 deaths. We are at 20 deaths this year and that leaves me quite fearful of what might come next. I urge all of you to double down on your investment in your local trans community. The solution will come from well-resourced trans leaders, not from outside. It also requires you and me to actively resist the demonization of trans KIDS who want to play sports.
Rest in power, Iris. We do not yet know many details about your life, but we are unanimous is saying you should have been able to eat a meal outside a fast food restaurant without being shot. You deserved many more years to infuse the world with your own magic.
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.
- Tiffany Thomas – Dallas, Texas, April 21, 2021. Age 38.
- Iris Santos – Houston, Texas, April 23, 2021. Age unknown.
** 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.)
- 1Fendi 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.