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Transgender community mourns death of woman shot walking home from work

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH ) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is still looking for answers in a deadly shooting that claimed a transgender woman’s life.

While police don’t know if this crime was motivated by hate, advocates said this is an example of the dangers transgender people face everyday.

Sara Blackwood’s death marked the 33rd transgender death in the U.S. this year, according to transgender advocates.

Balloons and flowers are set up at a memorial for her at North Temple Avenue and East Washington Street. Blackwood died after being shot at the intersection on the near-east side while walking home from work.

“She was an outgoing person. Everybody liked her,” said James Tweedy.

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Tweedy said he called police after the shooting.

GenderNexus, a transgender advocacy group and nonprofit, said transgender people often face hardships when it comes to finding stable employment, housing and health care while often also being targeted with violence.

“We do hope that IMPD will be more forthcoming about what’s happening in the investigation. So far we haven’t heard any details from them. We as a community really deserve to know what happened

IMPD said officers were called for a report of a person shot just after 10 p.m. Oct. 12 in the 2600 block East Washington Street. IMPD is still investigating this case as a homicide, but there’s word yet on if it was a hate crime. IMPD is asking anyone with information to come forward.

Tweedy said Blackwood was shot right in front of his yard. He said he stepped outside after hearing a series of shots. He said Blackwood managed to make it across the street before collapsing.

“So I ran over there and seen she was shot and I called the paramedics and the police.”

Tweedy said Blackwood walked this route often and it’s sad to see someone with so much life taken so violently.

Friends have set up a fundraiser in her memory. The nonprofit Trinity Haven said some of the money will go toward helping continuing its work providing temporary housing for LGBTQ youths.

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