A transgender woman was murdered Wednesday morning in Baltimore.

According to police, Alphonza Watson, 38, was fatally shot in the early morning hours. Police arrived on the scene at approximately 4:15 AM. Watson was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Witnesses told police that they heard cries for help followed by gunshots, and reported seeing two black males speeding off in a dark colored vehicle.

In comments to The Baltimore Sun, Watson's mother described her daughter as “the sunshine of our family” and as a “caring” person who loved to cook and tend to her garden.

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, at least six other transgender people, all black women, have been murdered in Maryland since 2014, four of the victims were killed in Baltimore.

“Obviously, when we are talking about a murder of a transgender person, that's a vulnerable community that has had some issues in the past,” police spokesman T.J. Smith told reporters near the crime scene. Smith added that a motive has not been determined.

The murder comes as opponents of LGBT rights push for laws that would restrict the rights of transgender people. The debate quickly spread nationwide after North Carolina last year became the first state to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice in many buildings.