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Transgender woman is shot in the head after sexual encounter, cops say. ‘Heinous act’

Facebook screengrab from HOPE Coalition

A transgender woman was shot and killed from point-blank range by a man to whom she had just given oral sex, Minnesota cops say.

Damarean Kaylon Bible, 25, was charged with second-degree murder following the Nov. 29 shooting in Minneapolis, according to Dec. 5 court records obtained by McClatchy News. In a phone call from jail, Bible admitted to the killing, police said.

The Queer Legislative Caucus of the Minnesota House of Representatives identified the victim as 38-year-old Savannah Ryan Williams and said she was a “beloved member of the transgender community.”

While being interviewed by police, Bible said he walked by Williams and she asked if he wanted to have sex, according to Minneapolis police. When he said yes, they walked to a courtyard and engaged in sexual activity.

Bible said he was receiving oral sex from Williams, but she was making “him feel suspicious,” police said.

“After the sexual act was completed, (Williams) continued to make him suspicious, so he shot her,” officers said in the complaint, citing Bible’s testimony. “(Bible) admitted he shot (Williams’) head from mere inches away.”

Her body was discovered at 9 a.m., more than three hours after witnesses heard a gunshot, according to court records. Surveillance footage recovered from the area show Bible and Williams walking together at 5 a.m., then Bible leaving by himself 45 minutes later.

When Bible was arrested and placed in jail, police said he admitted to his involvement in the killing.

“During one of the calls, he told his dad that he ‘just murdered someone,’” police said. “He stated he felt sorry for killing (Williams) and knew he wasn’t God, but he ‘had to do it.’”

Bible faces up to 40 years in prison if found guilty of murder, KSTP reported

Williams was active in The Aliveness Project, a support group for transgender women, according to KARE. The group called the killing a “hate crime.”

“Savannah had a right to live; she should be alive,” Amber Muhm told KARE. “There is no other detail that matters. Being murdered and being murdered in the way that this happened is gruesome.”

The group in a Facebook post described Williams as a “loving partner, family member and friend” who was “full of life, wickedly smart, kind and tender.”

The Aliveness Project and the Queer Legislative Caucus said in statements the death of Williams was the result of transphobia. The caucus also called it a “heinous act of violence.”

“Savannah’s death cannot be treated as an isolated incident,” the Queer Legislative Caucus said. “It is a consequence of a society that dehumanizes and marginalizes transgender people throughout their lives, even in the face of unspeakable loss. Black transgender women, at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, are disproportionately targeted for violence and face an epidemic of hate crimes.”

“Acts of discrimination, bigotry and hatred have no place in our community, and we fervently call for an end to such violence,” The Aliveness Project said. “Let us unite in honoring Savannah’s memory through acts of kindness, acceptance and love toward all individuals.”

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