22-year-old Iris Santos, a Latinx trans woman, was shot to death in Houston, Texas, on April 23, making her the 18th known trans person to have been violently killed in the US this year. According to LGBTQ Nation, Santos was sitting at a table outside a restaurant at 9.30 pm before gunshots were heard. She was transported to a local hospital but later pronounced dead.
Police have not yet identified any suspects and the investigation is due to continue. Santos was killed on the same day as Natalia ‘Smüt’ Lopez, a trans woman and drag performer who was stabbed to death by somebody she had “dated for several months”. Two other trans women were killed that week.
2020 was the deadliest year on record for trans Americans, with activists fearing that the total deaths in 2021 will exceed the 44 murders recorded last year. Over 350 murders were recorded globally last year, the majority of which took place in Brazil, Mexico, and the US.