Authorities in Puerto Rico are
investigating the murder of a homeless transgender woman as a
possible hate crime.
Local outlets are reporting that
Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, known as Alexa, was killed in a park in Toa
Baja, near San Juan.
Police on Sunday investigated social
media posts that accused Alexa of peeping on people in a public
bathroom. While police found no evidence and the person who filed the
complaint refused to press charges after learning Alexa was homeless,
the rumor spread on social media and Alexa was murdered a few hours
after police arrived on the scene.
Several outlets reported that her
killers followed her in a car, filmed as they fatally shot her, and
posted the video online.
Tori Cooper, director of community
engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative at HRC, called
Alexa's murder “horrifying.”
“This is a horrifying crime that must
be investigated with the utmost thoroughness and care. This victim,
who has now been identified as Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, was a human
being, a member of a community, a friend and family member,” said
“She had dreams, hopes, hobbies and
did not deserve to have her life taken from her. HRC has heard that
Ruiz was experiencing homelessness, further highlighting the ways a
toxic mix of transphobia and misogyny conspire to put the transgender
community at risk of extreme violence,” he said.
Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez said
in a tweet that authorities are considering all possible motives in