On the morning of October 6, 22-year-old Keisha Jenkins was murdered in Philadelphia, PA say local police. Jenkins, a transgender woman, was assaulted by five to six men before being shot, according to Police Chief James Clark. As reported in the Huffington Post, Jenkins is the sixteenth transgender woman of color murdered this year, and the 18th transgender woman murdered overall in 2015.
Philadelphia police do not currently believe this was a hate crime. Current evidence suggests the motive was robbery:
“We believe five or six males saw the victim, thought she had money, assaulted her, and ultimately killed her, but we believe it was a robbery,” said Police Captain James Clark.
Jenkins was murdered at the corner of Wingohocking and 13th streets, an intersection that suffers from a rash of robberies according to philly.com. That area of Hunting Park is also popular with transgender prostitutes, according to ABC Philadelphia. It has been reported that Jenkins was arrested for prostitution last year:
“It’s a high risk behavior and people who engage in that type of activity are more at risk to have something bad happen to them,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
ABC further reported that Jenkins was a “high earner,” which might have made her a target.
Jenkins’ family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for funeral costs.
Philadelphia police have yet to track down her killers. If you have any information about this tragedy, please call 215-686-TIPS.