Police are investigating the death of a 22-year-old transgender woman of color, identified as Deeniquia Dodds, who died Wednesday night after she was shot in Washington, D.C., on the Fourth of July, a local television station WRC reported.
WRC reported that loved ones called Dodds "Dee Dee." Dodds was "brutally shot in the neck and left to die," LGBT activist Earline Budd, a representative for Dodds' family, told WRC in a statement.
"Her murder reminds us all of how often the transgender community is targeted for violence in our society," Budd said.
2015 was a record year for transgender violence in the United States. During the first two months of 2015, transgender women were killed nationwide at the rate of one per week.
Police found Dodds with a gunshot wound, and she was brought to the hospital and placed on life support for nine days.
Joeann Lewis, who raised Dodds, told WRC that she was a "beautiful person" who "loved to make you laugh."
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The shooting is not yet being investigated as a hate crime, and the police have not released any information on the suspect.
"We have no information to suggest the crime was motivated by hate, at this point," Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said to WRC.
Lewis said family worried about Dodds' safety because she was a sex worker. She urged for more acceptance of people in the LGBTQ community.
"Regardless of what their sexuality is, they are human beings just like we are," Lewis said to WRC.
In an earlier interview with Mic, former co-director of community organizing and public advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project Chai Jindasurat said that to address trans violence, Congress must address more than just transphobia.
"It's about housing, poverty and the limited options that society provides trans women of color that puts them at risk for violence — things like shelter, jobs and access to public institutions will help transgender women of color," Jindasurat said.