Austin's LGBT community mourning death of transgender woman
AUSTIN, Texas —
Austin's LGBT community is mourning the murder of a transgender woman; not only Austin's first murder victim of the year, but what they say is the nation's first murder of a transgender woman in 2016.
A spokesman for Equality Texas tells KEYE-TV that she identified herself as Monica Loera.
Loera was shot to death early the morning of January 22nd. Austin police arrested JonCasey William Rowell in connection with her death.
Police so far have identified Loera as a man.
"I'm going to assume at this point in time that her legal documents did not line up with her presentation and often police go on what they think they know, now what is real and so we're going to be working with the Austin police department" says Lou Weaver, a leader in Houston's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender community.
Equality Texas says at least 26 transgender women were killed last year, targeted because of their gender identity.
"We need to be able to have people know who transgender individuals are. If they could get to know who Monica or myself are, that would demystify the transgender myth and that could decrease violence".
Rowell is facing a charge of first degree murder. His bond is set at $250,000.