Trans teen Olly Taylor kidnapped and shot dead. He was only 17 years old

Oliver Taylor trans teen

Oliver “Ollie” Taylor, a trans teenager, was kidnapped and shot dead in Gervais, Oregon. He was 17.

Taylor, a student at Gervais High School, was kidnapped after a shooting in the 1000 block of Depot Court on 12 May, according to OregonLive.

The news outlet, which misgendered Taylor in their initial report, reported the suspect, Kenneth Peden III, allegedly shot another victim before attacking Taylor and kidnapping him.

Peden then fled the scene in a Ford F-150 truck and exchanged gunfire with Oregon police before he was eventually arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail.

KPTV reported Taylor was found shot, by his kidnapper, inside the truck. Taylor was airlifted from the scene, but he sadly died on Wednesday (19 May).

Taylor’s family shared a GoFundMe page that has raised over $17,000 to support the teen’s medical costs. On 19 May, they shared a post on the page commemorating Taylor’s life.

The family said Taylor was “such an amazing child with a quirky sense of humor, who impacted so many people”. They said having the trans teen in “our family was one of the greatest honours in our life”.

The post continued by saying the family is in a process of “planning a celebration of life” for Taylor, but it will most likely not happen “until sometime in June”.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said in a statement that Taylor’s passing marks the 26th known violent death of a trans or gender non-conforming person in 2021. This number is assumed to be an underestimate, as many trans murders go unreported or the victims misgendered in death.

Tori Cooper, HRC director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, said Taylor was “just at the beginning of his life, a life that never should have been cut short”.

“This is a tragic loss for Oliver’s friends, family and community,” Cooper said. “This violence must cease.”

Taylor was involved in his high school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) organisation. The Gervais FFA remembered Taylor in a candlelight vigil on Thursday (20 May) on the Gervais High School front lawn.

Peden faces nine criminal charges, including a murder charge in Taylor’s death, according to OregonLive.

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