Shooting death of 38-year-old transgender woman under investigation

Posted at 11:04 AM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 06:54:01-04

Police don’t have much to go on, the facts are sparse.

Early Wednesday morning, responding to a shooting, police found a 38 year old Alphonza Watson, a transgender woman shot in the stomach on Guilford Avenue in Barclay.

"We do have information right now that points toward some sort of argument. Is that the entirety of the situation? Right now we don't know the answer to that but at least we know there was some back and forth, some yelling and screaming before shots were fired," said Baltimore Chief T.J. Smith.

Right after those shots were fired, two men were seen jumping into a dark colored car and speeding off.

By noon, Baltimore detectives were canvassing the 24 hundred block of Guildford Avenue knocking on doors to see if neighbors heard or saw anything early Wednesday morning.

What they don't know is whether or not this woman was targeted because she was transgender or the nature of the argument that led to the shooting.

RELATED: Transgender community reacts to Baltimore woman shot, killed

Sgt. Kevin Bailey is the police department's LGBT liaison and is helping to bridge what could be a divide between a vulnerable population and police.

Since 2005, the city has seen 14 transgender murders.

Before Watson, the most recent victim was Crystal Edmonds who was killed in September in Northwest Baltimore.

Hers is a case that remains unsolved.

Edmonds along with Watson’s murders will likely require a tip, someone to feel safe enough to come forward.

"Not just for this case but any case. I need to meet with the community and sit with them as they come in and talk with other officers and things...I do that,” said Sgt. Bailey, “I make myself available to make sure our community feels comfortable."

If you have any information in any of these murders, you are asked to call Baltimore police or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP.


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