In the early hours of February 23, an unidentified man walked by a popular trans bar in Las Vegas and fired through the windows, injuring one. As of late last week, police have not determined a suspect or a motive.
Surveillance video captured the suspect walking down the sidewalk, but his face is obscured. In a press release, police appealed to the community for any information about who might be responsible.
According to the release, “As the suspect walked by the lounge, he pulled out a firearm and shot into the business without warning. There were multiple people inside the business during the incident, but no one saw the suspect.”
Though the motive for the violence is still unknown, the bar where it happened, the Las Vegas Lounge, is known to be frequented by the trans community. Given the nature of the crime, the suspect’s motive probably wasn’t robbery. And the trans community — particularly trans people of color — faces a particularly high risk of violent crime.
In 2017, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs documented 27 murders of trans people where the primary motivator was anti-LGBT sentiment, though they note that number isn’t exhaustive. And already this year, at least six trans people have been killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Photo credit: Las Vegas Lounge