Shai was shot in the face while trying to defend someone else. Her killer, Daniel L. Smith, was arrested the following day.
Shai Vanderpump, a 23-year-old Black trans woman with a “heart of gold”, was slain in a tragic shooting while defending her “love” in Trenton, New Jersey.
Described by those who knew her as a “superhero” who placed her family above all else, the LGBT+ activist’s death has shaken the state capital community.
At around 4:40am on Friday (30 July), Trenton police responded to a report of gunshots at a residence in the first block of Kelsey Avenue, in the city’s West Ward neighbourhood. Cops found the victim had been shot in the face, the Trentonian reported.
Despite emergency medical technicians efforts to save her, Vanderpump passed away at the Capital Health Regional Medical Center.
After police combed through the victim’s residence, spoke with witnesses and watched local surveillance footage, police took Daniel Smith into custody late Saturday evening. The 36-year-old was detained during a motor vehicle stop in Ewing by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit. Smith has been charged with one count of murder and multiple weapons offences.