Phylicia Mitchell is fifth trans woman murdered in the US this year

A fifth transgender woman has been murdered in the US.

Phylicia Mitchell was shot dead outside of her home in Cleveland, Ohio last week. 

The 45-year-old was found with bullet wounds in her chest in her living room on February 23.

She was taken to hospital but was later pronounced dead.

Police have not yet determined a suspect or a motive for the shooting.

Her partner of 30 years, Shane Mitchell, said that he is distraught over her loss.

“Everyone loved her,” he told “I miss her tremendously. That’s my soulmate. “We went everywhere together. We did
everything together.” Mitchell took her partner’s name last year, although they did not have an official wedding.

He explained: “It was like a mock wedding. “We had a few friends come, some of her family. It was awesome.”
The two had recently separated as they both struggled with drug addiction, which Mitchel fears is the reason she was killed.
Over the time that they knew each other, Shane had helped Phylicia get out of sex work.

He said: “She was a good person, even though she had a drug problem, she’s a good person. “She got mixed up with the wrong people.
“We should have never started doing drugs together. We’d have both had an even better life than we already did.”
Mitchell added that when they first started their relationship they struggled as people “didn’t respect them” but over the years, his family
began to accept her.

“My nieces and nephews opened up to her so much. She was just so funny and kind,” he added.

Miss Trans America, Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, was the first transgender woman killed this year.

She was found stabbed to death in her home. Her husband Mark Steele-Knudslien, has been arrested on suspicion of the murder after
he confessed to police that he had killed her. However, he has since entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment hearing.
Viccky Gutierrez was the second trans woman killed in the US in 2018.

Gutierrez was brutally murdered and her body was found burnt.

A third trans woman, Tonya Harvey, 35, was shot dead in Buffalo, New York.

Local trans rights activist Ari Moore told Buffalo News: “The hatred, the bigotry and the aggressive attacks on trans people is almost an
everyday occurrence in our lives.”

Similarly to Harvey, Celine Walker was misgendered by authorities meaning that her death only came to the attention of media outlets at
a later date.

Walker was shot in the same week as Harvey. She was found dead in a hotel room in Jackson, Florida.

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