32nd Homicide Shatters Record for Trans Murders in a Year

Brooklyn DeShauna Smith was just 20 years old when she was found dead with a gunshot wound on October 7.
Facebook/ Brooklyn DeShauna Smith

A 20-year-old Black transgender woman who was shot and killed in Shreveport, Louisiana, on October 7 became the 32nd known trans or non-binary individual murdered in the United States this year, surpassing the previous record death toll of 31 set in 2017.

Police said officers discovered the latest victim, Brooklyn DeShauna Smith, with a gunshot wound in an apartment in the 7200 block of Bernstein Avenue in Shreveport at approximately 2:15 p.m. last Wednesday. No arrests have been made in connection with the case, though investigators said they are exploring whether Smith’s gender identity was a factor in her death.

“Police have not named a suspect, but I won’t tell you they don’t have one,” a Shreveport police spokesperson told Gay City News via phone on October 12.

Investigators took photos of the scene, gathered evidence, and interviewed witnesses and family members, police said. Autopsy results are forthcoming.

Smith became the fourth known Black transgender woman to be killed in Louisiana since July. Shaki Peters, 32, was killed on July 1, while 22-year-old Queasha Hardy was killed on July 2 and Kee Sam was murdered on August 12.

Alarmingly, the tragedies have only continued to accelerate as of late. Smith became the fifth transgender or non-binary murder victim nationwide in a span of three weeks — another sobering sign that the deadly violence impacting trans women of color is not slowing down.

According to her Facebook page, Smith studied cosmetology at Bossier Parish Community College and also worked as a model and call center agent.

Smith also touted her love of cooking and was proud to document some of her food adventures on social media. In her final Facebook post on the evening of October 4, Smith posted photos of what appeared to be chicken wings and beans and wrote, “I did it,” with a series of smiley faces.

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