This past Monday, 46-year old Albert Weathers, a Detroit pastor, was charged with the murder of 36-year old Kelly Stough, a Black trans woman. She was killed in Detroit’s Palmer Park neighborhood.According to NBC News, the Wayne County prosecutor’s press release states, “After a police investigation, prosecutors arraigned Weathers on charges of open murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.”

Prosecutors say they have garnered and will present evidence that proves Stough’s gender identity was motive for her murder.

According to the news site WXYZ, Weathers came to work after the shooting and called the police aftwer to falsely notify them that someone attempted to rob him and he shot the person in self-defense. A close source to Weathers confirmed to 7 Action News that he is a preacher for a local church.

Dana Nessel, President of the Fair Michigan Foundation, which focuses on hate crimes against LGBTQ people, told WZYZ, “This case reflects the excessive brutality that members of Detroit’s transgender community constantly face. We thank the Detroit Police Department for their efforts to investigate the facts of this tragic crime.”

Stough’s mother, Jessica Chantae Stough, told NBC News, “I want people to know that because she was transgender doesn’t mean that she was not loved, that she was not cared for. She has a family who cared about her, who loved her, and I want them to know that transgender ladies — expressly those of color — they’re just not throwaways; people care about them.”

She continued, “She was educated, she was God-filled, she loved church, she loved others. As a human being in the United States of America, you have the right to be who you want to be, and you shouldn’t be shamed or bullied or persecuted for the choice you make.”

“Abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be tolerated,” Laura Palumbo, communications director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, told Rolling Stone. “In 2019 we need more efforts to promote the visibility of transgender individuals in our communities and to strengthen efforts to combat anti-trans violence in order to protect everyone’s dignity and safety.”