Transgender Person Slain in Northeast

Possibility of hate crime investigated

By Pat Collins
|  Thursday, Jul 21, 2011  |  Updated 8:25 PM EDT
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The family members of the victim in a murder and possible hate crime are pleading for the killer to come forward.

Pat Collins

The family members of the victim in a murder and possible hate crime are pleading for the killer to come forward.

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Police Investigate Possibility of Hate Crime in Transgender Death

Transgender 23-year old Lashai McLean was shot and killed on Dix Street NE Wednesday morning.
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A transgender person was shot and killed in northeast D.C. Wednesday morning.

Lashay Mclean was walking in the 6100 block of Dix Street NE with another transgender person before 4:30 a.m. when they exchanged words with two men. Shots were fired, and McLean was struck at least once. She was taken to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

“It just hurts my heart,” said Mclean’s boyfriend, Jason Coleman. “It hurts me terrible. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”

There's no evidence yet that suggests the 23-year-old was shot because she was transgender, police said, but the possibility of a hate crime is being investigated. A $25,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

“It’s tragic, it’s awful and it’s unfair,” said Earline Budd, of Transgender Center. “And again, no one should lose their lives because of who they are.”

Bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity cannot be tolerated, Mayor Vincent Gray said.

“We know that hate crimes have been perpetrated on people who are transgender or people who might be gay or lesbian,” Gray said. “We don’t know that that’s the case here. We’re going to investigate it fully, of course, and we’re going to investigate it from that perspective as well.”

Coleman had planned to marry Mclean.

“She was lovely, too,” Coleman said. “I wanted to be with her the rest of my life.”

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