Tyianna "Davarea" AlexanderAge 28
6 Jan 2021
Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Tyianna was one of two people shot and killed by a gunman in a vehicle at around 5am on Wednesday 6th January. She died at the scene and Brandon Gowdy, 31, died in hospital.
A Black transgender woman from Chicago was shot to death earlier this month, marking the second recent murder of a trans woman in the city.
Davarea Alexander, 28, who was also known as Tyianna, was one of two individuals who were shot and killed near a railroad line at 817 West 75th Street, police told Gay City News. The other victim, who was 31 years old, was shot in the lower left side and upper left bicep.
So far, there’s not enough information available to indicate whether the killing of Alexander was motivated by anti-trans bias. The killing came just weeks after a different trans woman, Courtney “Eshay” Key, was fatally shot to death in Chicago on Christmas.
“It’s really difficult to prove unless you have someone in custody,” Sally Brown, a public information officer for the Chicago Police Department, said in an interview with Gay City News. “It’s just so hard to classify something as a hate crime without a lot of evidence pointing to that.”
Chicago police — who originally misgendered Alexander — did not directly respond to a question about whether the 31-year-old victim was transgender. The Chicago Police Department currently does not have a process for collecting a victim’s gender identity. Instead, they conflate gender with a person’s sex assigned at birth. Brown said officers were not trying to “insult” the victim but were documenting the sex listed on her government-issued ID.
“I know people were upset about that at first, but that’s the reasoning behind it. We’re very sensitive to those things,” Brown said. “It’s just they have to put something down on the report like that.”
Meanwhile, police have yet to make headway in solving Key’s death. Nobody has been taken into custody and sources told the Chicago Tribune the motive is unclear, but Key’s family believes she was killed because she was a trans woman. The family is requesting that the department investigate the case as a hate crime.
Two months earlier on 6th November Tyianna's car had been shot at while she was driving. On that occasion she had escaped without injury.