Demarkis Stansberry, a 30-year-old transgender black man was shot and killed in a Baton Rouge, La. residence. Stansberry was shot by 24-year-old Nicholas Matthews, who later turned himself into local police. according to The Advocate.
Matthews was charged with negligent homicide, illegal use of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon and his bail has been set at $90,000.
Frederick Matthews, a brother to Nicholas and friend of Stansberry, was in his brothers home when the murder occurred, according to reports. Frederick originally told police that he saw an individual fleeing the house after the shot was fired but later changed his story to say that his brother shot Stansberry with the same gun he saw in his waistbelt when he first arrived to pick up DJ equipment.
Nicholas Matthews originally told the police that he shot Stansberry by accident under the belief that his gun was empty after removing the clip on New Year’s Eve. However, local reports claim that Stansberry was shot at point-blank range with the shooter standing at his side.
While this death is tragic on its own, it’s the fourth violent murder of a trans person this year already. The misidentification of the victim’s gender has also become an issue after original reports chose to use Stansberry’s former name. As The Advocate reports, the Associated Press and GLAAD journalistic guidelines promote the use of an individuals preferred identification in reports.
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