Black trans and gender non-conforming victims remembered after Ohio shooting

A candle mourns transgender victims of violence like Tydie, who was killed in Baltimore.

A Black trans woman and gender non-conforming gay man are being remembered after both were victims of a devastating Ohio shooting.

Amiri Reid, who identified as a trans woman, and Kejuan Richardson, who identified as gender non-conforming and gay, were both shot and killed on 14 November, 2023 in a senseless attack.

The two friends, both aged 21, had been driving around their hometown of Toledo, Ohio when they were shot. 

An autopsy found that Richardson and Reid had each died from two gunshot wounds, PGH Lesbian reports.

Stock image of a trans flag waving in the wind
Amiri Reid and Kejuan Richardson were senselessly killed in a shooting in Toledo, Ohio last month. (Getty Images)

A suspect who was identified as the shooter was named by Toledo police as 19-year-old Jorenzo Phillips, was found dead in Cincinnati after an arrest warrant was issued.

As a result, no information has been released regarding the shooting suspect’s motive.

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Reid and Richardson’s deaths mark at the 27th and 28th violent killings of transgender or gender non-conforming people in 2023, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – though many more could easily have gone unreported.

Last month, a study from the Trans Murder Monitoring project found that a total of 321 trans and gender-diverse people around the world were murdered in the past year, with most victims reported as trans women of colour.

Richardson is remembered as a former student of Woodward High School, who worked at a KFC,  “liked the Avengers movies, basketball, and supporting local businesses, especially restaurants,” and was “beloved by friends and family.”

Reid, meanwhile, is remembered by loved ones for her positivity and “ribald sense of humour,” according to PGH Lesbian.

Commenting on the heartbreaking deaths of two more Black members of the LGBTQ+ community, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, Tori Cooper said: “The killing of Black trans and gender non-conforming people is a devastating trend that continues to rise. 

“We’ve seen too many lives, like Kejuan’s, taken far too early, and as a Black trans woman, it makes me angry to read another headline of a murder within the trans community.

“Despite Kejuan’s life ending so tragically, it is important to remember them for all the amazing things they did while they were still here without disregarding the horrific way that they died.

“Kejuan and Amiri’s lives must be celebrated to remind those with hate in their hearts that the trans community will not be silenced.”

She added: “Amiri’s life was cut short by senseless violence, and this narrative has become far too common for Black trans women. 

“Although our community can find solace in the Toledo police identifying her killer, the sad reality is that it won’t bring Amiri back and she won’t be able to experience the joys that come with living a long and full life. 

“Despite the tragic ending of Amiri’s life, her spirit will live on, and we must never forget her name.”

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