Caelee Lovelight: Latina trans woman who ‘passionately defended’ her community shot dead

Caelee Loveligh

Caelee Lovelight, a 27-year-old trans woman, was found dead in a car in Phoenix, Arizona.

Phoenix police were dispatched to an “unknown trouble call” in a neighbourhood near 23rd Avenue and Baseline Road at at 3.25am on 17 December.

Officers found Lovelight unresponsive in a car with a gunshot wound. She was next to a man, identified as 47-year-old Javin Casillas, who had multiple injuries. 

Lovelight was pronounced dead at the scene, while Casillas, who police believe was stabbed, died in hospital later of his injuries. 

According to ABC15, police believe the two were involved in a fight that saw them sustain their fatal injuries. 

Ana Luthien Lisbeth Keathley, one of Lovelight’s friends, told Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents (PLC), a website that tracks trans homicides, that Lovelight was “fond of reading”. 

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She described her late friend as someone who “was hyperlexic” and “enjoyed learning something new every day.”

Keathley added that Lovelight was “very religious and spiritual” and “passionately defended non-binary and trans folks.” 

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According to friends of Lovelight who spoke to PLC, she was born in Texas in 1995 and later moved to Portland, where she changed her name and gender markers with financial support from friends. 

It’s unclear when Lovelight moved to Phoenix but friends reported to PLC that her parents are both dead and that they didn’t think her remaining family would acknowledge her gender identity.

Caelee Lovelight is one of at least 37 trans people to have been violently killed this year alone. 

A selfie photo of Mar'Quis Jackson wearing a white t-shirt shows him staring into the camera
Philadelphia Police are investigating Mar’Quis Jackson’s death as a homicide. (Mar’Quis Jackson/Facebook)

The shooting remains under investigation. 

The news comes just days after Mar’Quis Jackson, “a very proud, out trans man”, was found dead in Philadelphia, having reportedly suffered blunt force trauma to his head. 

The community has also mourned this year: Amariey Lej, Duval PrincessCypress RamosNaomie SkinnerMatthew Angelo SpampinatoPaloma VazquezTatiana LabelleKathryn “Katie” NewhouseKenyatta “Kesha” WebsterMiia Love ParkerFern FeatherAriyanna MitchellRaymond “Ray” MuscatNedra Sequence Morris, ​​Chanelika Y’Ella Dior HemingwaySasha MasonBrazil JohnsonShawmaynè Giselle Marie, Kitty MonroeMartasia RichmondKeshia Chanel GeterCherry BushMarisela Castro,  Hayden DavisKandii ReddAaron LynchMaddie HofmannDede Ricks, Regina “Mya” Allen, Acey MorrisonSemaj BillingsleaTiffany Banks, Kelly Loving and Daniel Aston, both killed in the Club Q shooting, and Diamond Jackson-McDonald.

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