Tragedy hit North Carolina twice in a row when two transgender women were robbed and shot to death at different hotels. The culprits have been arrested— find out who they are.
Two transgender women recently lost their lives in a gruesome robbery that took place at their respective hotel rooms. The women were shot dead eleven days apart, but police were able to link the two deaths and apprehend the perpetrators.
The sordid affair began on April 4 when police responded to a call and discovered the body of the first woman, Jaida Peterson, at the Quality Inn & Suites Airport on April 4. She had been shot.
Yellow "Crime scene do not cross" tape. | Photo: Pexels
Remy Fennell was the second victim of the barbaric murders. Like Peterson, she was also robbed and shot at a hotel room. According to LT Crum, her body was found at the Sleep Inn University Place.
The similarities between both cases were obvious, both women had been transgender people whose livelihood was sex work, and both died gruesomely in shootings that took place in their hotel rooms.
After making the discovery, police put out word of a group of people targeting members of the LGBTQ via a news conference last week Thursday. It urged members of the LGBTQ community, especially the sex workers, to be careful and aware of their environment.
Before the arrests were made, transgender women in Charlotte had felt so unsafe they abandoned houses to lodge in hotels.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department went live on Facebook on April 16 to reveal that they had arrested two men after working day and night - Dontarius Long, 22, and Joel Brewer, 33.
Both men were charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. Brewer was additionally charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted criminal.
Shortly after the announcement, LT Crum revealed that the police department no longer fears there are more risks to public safety. He said that they were still trying to find out what the motive behind both murders was.
The FBI has also been involved to determine if they were hate crimes. The late women have increased the tally of transgenders who have died this year alone to 15.
This number could be more, but the police have been reported to sometimes "deadname and misgender" late transgender people causing them to be identified as their birth names and sexual identity.
Before the arrests were made, transgender women in Charlotte had felt so unsafe they abandoned houses to lodge in hotels. But even now that the perpetrators are in police custody, they still don't feel safe because they "criminalize" Black transgender folks.
Movements like Charlotte groups House of Kanautica, Charlotte Uprising, Feed the Movement CLT, and End Trans Hate in North Carolina have started finding safe housing for Black transgender women— a noble move anyone could support. RIP Peterson and Fennell.
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