Tonya Harvey is the first murder in Buffalo NY but is the third confirmed trans murder in the US. There is a missing persons case involving two transgender individuals that is being investigated as a homicide.
On January 5th, trans activist Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, was killed in North Adams, Massachusetts. Just six days later Viccky Gutierrez, a trans woman living in Los Angeles death was ruled a homicide, after she was discovered burned to death in her residence.
Tonya was shot and pronounced dead Tuesday evening February 6th at 5:30pm on the 100 block of Sheppard St. This area borders Canada along Lake Erie and Niagara River.
Tonya was known as “Kita” by her friends. There has been an outpouring on social media of love and beautiful sentiment by her family and friends.
Like many other trans Tanya was first misgendered delaying this being looked into as hate crime. This has been corrected by authorities and local media. This investigation is in the early stages and no suspects have been identified.
A spokesperson from the Erie County District Attorney’s Office told Buffalo News that the team is “extremely concerned about a spike in homicides of transgender people across the country and will be, as part of this investigation, looking into whether or not this is a potential hate crime.”