NCAVP mourns the death of Angel Haynes, a 25-year-old Black transgender woman who was fatally shot in a motel in Memphis, Tennessee on October 25. Angel was en route from her hometown of Jackson, TN to visit her best friend Takia Weddle and promised to call her when she arrived in Memphis safely. Takia never heard from Angel – instead, police were called to the Motel 6 in the early morning, where Angel was pronounced dead on scene.
Takia held a vigil in Angel’s honor the following weekend. “I still can’t believe it really because that was the only person I was with every single day. I talked to my best friend more than I talked to my boyfriend,” Takia told a local news station. Angel was a cosmetologist, who was to celebrate her 26th birthday in December. Takia believes Angel was targeted because she is transgender – “in that side of Memphis … Whitehaven, they really don’t like people like that over there really,” “Everybody that knew Angel knew that she was very funny. Very nice to everybody she met,” says Takia.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Angel to cover funeral expenses. The fundraiser reads “Angel was a carefree, caring, determined, funny, smart and giving woman. Unfortunately, our time with her was cut very very short. She was MURDERED!! She was taken away from her mom, grandmother, uncle…she was taken away from all of us unexpectedly.”
Angel’s death marks the 7th transgender woman lost to gun violence in just the last 2 months. Other victims include Sara Blackwood, Mia Green, Brooklyn DeShauna Smith, Felycya Harris, Michellyn Ramos Vargas, and Aerrion Burnett.
Police have asked anyone with information regarding a suspect to contact them at 901-528-CASH.
NCAVP stands in solidarity with Black trans women, and we know that it is always hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. We know this can be even more painful when there continues to be an unchecked epidemic of homicides of Black trans women, as police violence is escalating against Black and brown people, and our nation continues to be grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic that highlights long standing healthcare disparities for Black and brown 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.