Ashanti Carmon
Screenshot: Ashanti Carmon

Ashanti Carmon, a transgender woman, was shot and killed early Saturday morning.

Fairmount Heights police told WJLA that they responded to a call of several shots being fired in the Prince George’s County section of Maryland, which is a stone’s throw from the District of Columbia.

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When police arrived around 6:30 a.m., they found 27-year-old Ashanti Carmon of Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Va.

“I had seen her I believe on Tuesday because she would come through my office at HIPS,” Earline Budd, a transgender activist told the news station. HIPS attempts to find alternative work for those who have chosen sex work whether from “drug use due to choice, coercion, or circumstance,” its website notes.

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“She wasn’t someone that frequented the streets a lot, so that’s why it’s so shocking and the community is stunned,” Budd said. “I’ve been getting calls all day about this murder.”

While there has been no information as to what led to Carmon’s killing, residents of the area claim that sex workers have migrated from areas in D.C. and have moved over to parts of Prince George’s County.

“They park on our side streets, on Aspen, on 57th, on Jost, and they have sex with people,” said Akiaba Steward, a resident who lives in the area and told the news station she heard the shots. “And on any given day, you can see up to six to 12 condoms on the ground when you come out in the morning.”

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Budd told WJLA that they try to discourage transgender women from coming to the area.

“We’ve had quite a few transgender folks who have been assaulted, have been shot, who have been stabbed in that area,” Budd said.

But she said Carmon’s death is the first homicide among transgender people in several years.