The story of Thomas Hardin’s death is nuanced, complicated, and frightening. The frightening element is in most part because the man who is believed to have killed him and four other people in two states is armed and on the run.
According to family, friends, and law enforcement, Thomas Hardin identified as a woman. But he used the name Thomas and had literally no preferred pronouns. Via WIS 10 News
York Police Chief Andy Robinson and two of Hardin’s friends say Hardin identified as a woman. However, his friends say he still went by the name of Thomas and did not have a preferred pronoun.
“He would say he or she. Thomas didn’t care. When I’m talking to him, sometimes I’m saying he, sometimes I’m saying she. He did not care,” Hardin’s friend, Chimere Hicks, explained.
Thomas body was discovered inside his York, South Carolina home. Officials have not specified a cause of death, but friends and neighbors claim he was shot.
It is important to be clear – Thomas identified as a woman making him a trans woman. He was not a trans man. We have no access to information more specific than that. It is perfectly fine to have a trans woman named Thomas who used she and he pronouns. Thomas’ funeral included photos of him en femme and it appears his family is more concerned with their grief and the apprehension of his murderer than in getting into arguements about deadnaming and misgendering. Thomas’ family did not erase his identity. A murderous bastard erased his life.
The suspected murderer is Tyler Terry, allegedly a former intimate partner and roommate of Thomas.
Hicks says Hardin and Terry were at one point romantically involved but their relationship recently deteriorated.
“He had put Tyler out of his house months ago. He was giving him a place to stay because he didn’t have anywhere to live. And it just wasn’t working out and so he put him out. He [Terry] would always send him [Hardin] threatening messages, calling him names, just doing a lot of things to him,” Hicks said. “I just kept telling Thomas it’s not safe. You know you come home at night. But he always said no I’m not scared of him.”
Thomas was laid to rest on May 12, 2021 in South Carolina. Now the family waits for law enforcement to stop Tyler Terry’s mind-boggling murder spree.
TIMELINE: The case involving Tyler Terry
Tyler Terry is wanted on charges including murder and attempted murder.
On May 2, Terry is accused of killing Thomas Hardin, a transgender male. Tyler’s accomplice, Adrienne Simpson, is charged with accessory after the fact.
On that same day, Adrienne Simpson’s husband Eugene goes missing.
Terry is charged with attempted murder for two shootings on May 2 in Chester County, South Carolina. One shooting was on Ehrlich Street and the other at a Taco Bell location on J.A. Cochran Bypass.
Terry is facing attempted murder charges for those shootings.
Terry and Simpson are wanted for the deadly shooting of Barbara Goodkin in St. Louis County, Missouri on May 15.
About an hour later, Dr. Sergei Zacharev was also shot and killed. Terry and Simpson have been identified as the suspects.
On May 17, deputies with the sheriff’s office in Chester County, South Carolina, attempt to stop a vehicle being driven by Simpson. As she drove away from deputies, Terry allegedly fired shots at the deputies from the passenger seat. Simpson was arrested and Terry remains missing.
During the continued search for Terry, several schools in Rock Hill were on lockdown as sightings of Terry were reported in and around the area of the schools. The following schools were placed on lockdown before parents could pick up their children:
- Rock Hill High School
- Independence Elementary School
- Castle Heights Elementary
On May 20, a body that was found in Great Falls off Stroud Road near Old Richburg Road Wednesday evening is identified as 33-year-old Eugene Simpson, the husband of Adrienne Simpson.
Investigators said Eugene Simpson was reported missing by his mother on May 2. A spokesperson for the Chester County Sheriff’s Office said Simpson had been dead for several days by the time he was found. At this time, authorities are not making a connection between Eugene Simpson and the search for Terry, although they are investigating the possibility.
That’s four murders plus at least three attempted murders this month, from South Carolina to St. Louis. It’s a lot to wrap my head around and too easy for Thomas to get lost in the narrative. There’s no indication that other victims were transgender or gender nonconforming, but a lot of details are murky.
Law enforcement continues to search for Terry, urging anyone with information to call 911 immediately. You can also go to www.CrimeSC.com or click HERE to give a web tip or call 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372.)
Thomas is the 29th trans, nonbinary or gender nonconforming person reported killed in 2021. She is the 26th trans woman. Twenty-six of these neighbors have been BIPOC. In total, there have been twenty-nine murders or suspicious deaths in the first 122 days of 2021, an average of one death every 4.2 days. 18 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, Thomas. You brought someone into your home and your life, a reflection of your giving nature and your genuine goodness. Your friends tell us how much you enjoyed making people laugh. I hope wherever you are, you send that laughter to comfort the tears of your loved ones. And that all of us will continue to make this world safer and brighter.
May your memory be a revolution.
Our list of transgender, gender, 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 22.
- Jahaira M. DeAlto – Boston, Massachusetts, May 2, 2021. Age 42.
- Keri Washington – Clearwater, Florida, May 1, 2021. Age 49.
- Danny Henson – Baltimore, Maryland, May 4, 2021. Age 31.
- Whispering Wind Bear Spirit – York, Pennsylvania, May 4, 2021 Age 41
- Sophie Vasquez – Atlanta, Georgia, May 4, 2021. Age 36.
- Serenity Hollis – Albany, Georgia, May 8, 2021. Age 24.
- Oliver “Ollie” Taylor – Gervais, Oregon, May 19, 2021. Age 27.
- Thomas Hardin – York, South Carolina, May 2, 2021. Age 35.
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