DETROIT – The Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement in response to the shooting death of a transgender woman in Detroit last week. According to reports, Kelly Stough, known to her friends as Keanna Mattel, was found shot and killed on Friday morning and a local pastor has been charged with the murder since then.
After the 2015 death of Amber Monroe, another Black trans woman in Detroit, Keanna spoke to The Guardian specifically on violence against Detroit’s transgender community. When asked about law enforcement’s approach she said “The police are unaware with our struggle so they have no sympathy for us… Nobody ever asks, what happened to that person to get here?”
“My heart aches this week for the family and friends of Kelly Stough,” said Emily Durbin, volunteer with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action. “I know our community will feel the ripple effects of losing such a special person. No one should have to live in fear of gun violence, yet transgender women like Keanna are disproportionately impacted. Until we can protect every citizen from these senseless shootings, we all have work to do.”
There have now been at least 24 transgender people killed nationwide this year; 18 killed by gun violence. Of the trans victims killed with a gun, almost all were women of color. 2017 was the deadliest year on record for the transgender community in the United States, with at least 29 trans homicides. 21 trans people were killed with a gun last year, 17 of those shot and killed were trans women of color.