This post was updated on June 27, 2018.
According to multiple news reports, Cathalina Christina James, 24, was fatally shot in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 24 -- the third transgender woman murdered and the fourth shot in the Florida city this year.
Reports indicate that the shooting occurred at the Quality Inn in the Baymeadows area of the Southside.
In an interview with First Coast News, James’ mother described her daughter as having a “big and bold” personality, saying she loved to dance and travel.
Local activists are calling on police to aggressively investigate these horrifying attacks and bring the killers to justice. Antash’a English and Celine Walker, both Black transgender women, were also killed in Jacksonville this year.
"First and foremost, we join the Jacksonville transgender community in mourning the loss of a third transgender victim of fatal violence and demanding justice. Antash’a English, Celine Walker, and this latest unnamed victim were young women filled with hopes and dreams, and worthy of dignity and respect," said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride.
On her Facebook page, Antash’a English, 38, described herself as an “independent” transgender woman who “thrives on being the best person” she can be. A friend of Celine Walker’s said that she would “always be inspired and encouraged by someone who had such courage to do what made her happy” and made a plea on Facebook for media and police to stop misgendering transgender victims.
"For years, there has been a crisis of violence targeting the transgender community, particularly transgender women of color,” McBride said. “With four shootings - including three fatal shootings - of transgender women in the last six months, Jacksonville is now at the center of that crisis.”
HRC has joined local advocates in reaching out to Jacksonville city leadership for more information, urging a thorough and complete investigation to find those responsible for these murders and to bring them to justice. The Jacksonville Transgender Action Committee is holding two events on Tuesday and Wednesday highlighting these tragedies and calling on local officials to address the epidemic of violence against Jacksonville’s trans community.
James is the 13th known murder of a transgender or nonbinary person in the U.S. this year. In a deeply troubling pattern, the victims have all too often been misgendered by both law enforcement and the media.
“We implore all those tasked with investigating and covering these tragic murders to respect the gender identity of the victims, both because it is the right thing to do and because it is a necessary component in combatting this epidemic of violence,” said McBride.
To learn more about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/Transgender.