Black trans teen fatally shot while ‘heroically protecting a friend’ at a party

A Black trans teen was fatally shot while defending a friend at a party in Virginia. 

Ariyanna Mitchell, 17, was violently killed while intervening in a fight during a party in Hampton, Virginia in the early morning hours of 2 April. The suspect in Mitchell’s death, Jimmy Leshawn Williams, allegedly shot the teen during an argument between Mitchell’s friend and his girlfriend, WAVY reported, deadnaming and misgendering the trans youth.

Mitchell’s friend told the outlet that she was the original target as Williams’ girlfriend was “going to get her boyfriend to come shoot me and everybody in this house”.

Court documents, seen by WAVY, said that witnesses told police that Williams, 19, questioned Mitchell’s gender identity before he allegedly shot her multiple times. 

Hampton Police released a statement about the incident and said Mitchell was pronounced dead at the scene, misgendering her. Police arrested Williams on 9 April and charged him with one count of murder and another count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. 

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