‘Kind’ trans man shot dead by girlfriend in tragic murder-suicide. His name was Ray Muscat

Raymond 'Ray' Muscat poses for a photograph

A “kind” trans man was shot dead by his girlfriend in Oakland, Michigan, as a campaign of violence continues to claim the lives of trans Americans.

Raymond “Ray” Muscat, a 24-year-old who loved anime and cosplay, was reportedly shot to death by his girlfriend of almost two years in their apartment.

Ruby Tavener, a 22-year-old white trans woman, also fatally shot her own brother before fleeing the Independence Square Apartments in the Independence Township on Sunday (8 May).

Ruby’s brother, Bishop Tavener, 25, was also killed in the couple’s apartment, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Sunday, Law & Crime reported.

One day later, Ruby’s body was found in a wooded area by their apartment complex in what police suspect was suicide.

“This tragic situation has now been brought to a close, and our investigators will now pivot to see if we can answer the question on everyone’s mind — why,” Bouchard added.

“An Independence Township woman who fatally shot her live-in boyfriend and her brother Sunday was found dead today of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound near the apartment complex where the fatal shootings occurred,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

Police said that a 911 call came in the early morning from a neighbour in the apartment complex who reported hearing the sounds of gunshots. When police arrived, they found the bodies of Ray and Bishop.

Ruby had allegedly purchased just a week before the shooting two 9mm handguns and a Glock 43X handgun, the police added, despite this being against the apartment complex’s rules. A month before, police reported conducting a welfare check on the couple.

Raymond was known by many names. Some knew him as Ray, others by the handle “Ray_graveyard” and to his family, “Boom”, according to his obituary.

Working at Meijer, a supermarket chain, customers and colleagues described Ray as a “kind soul who had a glowing smile that was contagious to their day”. His family have organised a GoFundMe to raise money to help “alleviate their stress” and “find justice in this sudden loss”.

Ray is “at least” the 13th trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming person violently killed this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT+ rights group that has tracked the wave of killings since 2013.

Last year’s total reached a grisly, record-breaking tally of 57 – a number that, even in the months since the year came to an end, has continued to rise as more cases surface months on.

The true death toll can be difficult to get a grip on, the HRC caution, given that around three-quarters of trans homicide victims are misgendered and deadnamed in local news and police reports.

Ray was one of them, with several sensational news reports misgendering and deadnaming him in their reports.

An unspeakable tragedy took place on the day Raymond ‘Ray’ Muscat lost his life at the hands of someone he cared for,” Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for the HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, told PinkNews

“At the age of just 24, he should still be alive today to share his unmatched creativity and love for his cat, Milo.

“We must bring attention to the tragic details of his death and the horrific trend of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people in this country and around the world.”

The community has mourned across 2022: Amariey Lej, Duval PrincessCypress RamosNaomie SkinnerMatthew Angelo SpampinatoPaloma VazquezTatiana LabelleKathryn “Katie’ NewhouseKenyatta “Kesha” WebsterMiia Love Parker, Fern Feather and Ariyanna Mitchell.