NCAVP mourns the death of Jose Isaias Escobar Menendez, a 24-year-old Latinx gay man in Sterling, VA

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NCAVP mourns the death of Jose Isaias Escobar Menendez, a 24-year-old Latinx gay man who was fatally shot in Sterling, VA. His body was found along a roadway at around 3:30 am on July 8th, and two men have since been charged for his murder by the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office. A friend of Jose believes this was a hate violence homicide due to his sexuality.

That same friend reported to a local newspaper that Jose “was an amazing friend,” and “He was always that person to hype you up. He just wanted everyone to have a good time.” A cousin of Jose started a now-closed GoFundMe to raise money for funeral costs for the family, which has currently raised over $13,000. “We are as a family completely devastated and broken,” writes his cousin Ricky Alvarenga. Among the donors include strangers and folks who knew Jose, “your son was an amazing man” writes one to his mother, and “[Jose was] the sweetest most loving soul” writes another.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.