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Post submitted by former HRC Digital Media Manager Helen Parshall

Keisha Wells, a transgender woman, was fatally shot Sunday in Cleveland, according to news reports, becoming the second transgender woman to be killed in the Ohio city this year.

Wells, 54, was found in the parking lot of an apartment complex suffering from a fatal gunshot wound to her abdomen, reported No arrests have been made in the case, and the investigation is ongoing.

In news reports, Sheila Jones, a longtime friend of Wells, described her as “the nicest person ever,” a “tough cookie” and someone who “wouldn’t back down from anyone.”

Wells is the 14th known transgender person to have been killed in 2018. On the same day, transgender woman Cathalina Christina James was killed in Jacksonville, Florida, becoming the third transgender woman murdered in the Jacksonville area this year.. These tragic deaths underscore the urgent need to address the epidemic of violence against the transgender community across the U.S.

Last fall, the HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition released a report documenting the senseless acts of violence that made 2017 the deadliest year on record for transgender people, particularly for trans women of color.

To learn more about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit

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