Man arrested after homeless trans woman beaten to death in Florida

Trans woman Andrea Dos Passos, 37, was battered to death with a metal pipe outside the Miami City Ballet.

A 53-year-old man has been arrested after a homeless transgender woman was beaten to death with a metal pipe in Miami Beach, Florida.

The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) said 37-year-old Andrea Doria dos Passos was found on the front steps of the Miami Ballet building on Tuesday (23 April). 

The body was discovered by a security guard, who initially thought she was sleeping. The MDPD said Dos Passos was partially clothed and covered in a blood-soaked blanket. She had suffered trauma to her head, and two wooden sticks were lodged in her nostrils, with a puncture wound in her chest. She was pronounced dead at the scene, CBS reported.

On Wednesday, police confirmed that Gregory Fitzgerald Gibert is facing one count of second-degree murder in relation to the incident.

Police reports and Miami-Dade County court records obtained by Miami New Times reportedly show that Gilbert was was released from prison last week on past aggravated assault and robbery charges. He was on probation at the time of his arrest for the alleged murder of Dos Passos.

The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department said he was in its custody from early May 2023 until just days before the alleged attack on Dos Passos. 

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CCTV footage of the scene showed Dos Passos lying outside the building at around midnight. Later, a man arrived on the scene and approached her.

After walking away at one point, the man picked up a metal pipe before hitting her repeatedly on the head and in the face.

The arrest report states: “The male is seen standing over her, striking her, then manipulating her body. The male then walks away and places the pipe inside a nearby trash can (the pipe was found and recovered in the same trash can).” 

In an interview with CBS, Dos Passos’ stepfather, Victor van Gilst, said she had been struggling with mental-health issues and “had no chance to defend herself whatsoever”. 

He went on to say: “I don’t know if this was a result of a hate crime since she was transgender or if she had already another interaction with this person. I don’t know if the other person was homeless as well.

“My wife is devastated. For her, this is like a nightmare turned into reality. Andrea moved around a lot and even lived in California for a while. She was sadly homeless. I feel the system let her down. She was a good person.”