Arrest Made in SE Transgender Attack

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    NEWSLETTERS

    D.C. police investigate a series of crimes targeting members of the transgender community. (Published Monday, Sep 12, 2011)

    Police made an arrest in the shooting of a transgender victim in Southeast D.C.

    Darryl Willard, age 20, has been charged with assault with intent to kill.  Police said the Northeast D.C. resident is responsible for the Monday shooting on Savannah Street, Southeast.

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    The victim, a transgender woman, walked into the 7th Police District suffering from a gunshot wound.  She was transported to nearby hospital for treatment.

    That was the third shooting involved transgender victims along the border between Southeast D.C. and and Prince George's County.  On July 21, 23-year-old Lashay McLean was shot to death on the 6100 block of Dix Street in Northeast, after two men approached to ask a question, then pulled a gun and fired at McLean.

    Just seven days later, another transgender person was shot at on the same street, just one block away. Again a man approached to ask a question and fired a shot, but it missed, and the victim escaped injury.

    On Aug. 29, an off-duty police officer was accused of shooting up a car carrying five passengers, some of whom were transgender, in northwest D.C.

    Members of the transgender community told News4's Pat Collins that transgender people are targeted by robbers because they are known to carry cash and it's perceived that police don't investigate crimes involving transgender victims as seriously as other crimes, so the robbers believe they have a better chance of getting away. Police said it's their duty to treat all crimes equally.

    Officials sought at a news conference Monday to dispel assertions that officers aren't being responsive to the concerns of gays, lesbians and transgender people or that detectives aren't aggressively working to solve crimes against them.

    “As an agency, we would not tolerate that from our members,” Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said.

    Transgender people are “victims of crime on all-too frequent basis” in the city and police have met recently with members of the community, Newsham said.

    In the last two months, transgender victims have been involved in 13 crime incidents: one murder, one suspicious death, four assaults, and seven robberies.

    Check back with NBC Washington for more updates as they become available.