Amber Monroe, a 20-year-old transgender woman from Detroit, was reportedly fatally shot over the weekend in Michigan. Police were investigating her death as a homicide, and as advocates mourned Monroe they worried her case was the latest in a string of violent crimes against transgender people, the Guardian reported.
"Her life was just beginning," Equality Michigan, an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, said in a statement. "Our hearts are heavy with grief that we have lost another vibrant member of our community too soon."
Monroe died Saturday morning on a street near 6 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Fox affiliate WJBK-TV reported she was working as a prostitute when she was shot around 5 a.m. ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV reported that someone opened fire as Monroe was climbing out of a car, and one source told Fusion that Monroe was a victim of a drive-by shooting. A spokesman for the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed her death with the Detroit Free Press, using her birth name, Terry Siebert.
— CHERNO BIKO (@ChernoBiko) August 8, 2015
The incident caught the attention of transgender icon and "Orange Is The New Black" actress Laverne Cox, who posted on Twitter and Instagram about Monroe on Saturday. Cox used the hashtag #12, referring to the fact that Monroe was the 12th transgender woman to be murdered in the U.S. since January.
“I’m still in a state of shock,” Monroe's friend Lakyra Dawson told Fusion. “We really have to find some better outlets. Different ways to protect girls like me. We have to start with discrimination. Twelve is a big number.”
Monroe was also the 10th victim to be a transgender woman of color. She'd been shot two times before and didn't feel comfortable going to the police, activist Julisa Abad said. "But this time she didn't make it," Abad said.