A transgender woman was shot during a struggle at a Detroit gas station and authorities are deciding whether the incident qualifies as a hate crime.
Police say that a man at the gas station and a victim exchanged words at 8 p.m. on July 23 before the suspect pulled out a firearm, according to MLive.com, a Michigan-based news organization. Surveillance video of the scene shows a struggle over the gun.
"As the victim attempts to take the weapon from the suspect, the victim was shot," Detroit police said. "After the shooting, the suspect fled the location."
The suspect is still at large.
The 29-year-old victim, who remains unnamed in reports, survived the bullet wound.
Police are now asking for assistance in helping locate the suspect who police say drives a black SUV.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig described the situation as tragic, but was unsure if the violence had anything to do with the victim's gender identity.
"Certainly, this community wants to know: Is it a hate crime? What is it? It's too early to tell, but we'll get more information," Craig said, according to Click On Detroit, a Detroit, Michigan-based news organization.
Members of Detroit's LGBT community held a candlelight vigil for the victim on July 24. Some at the vigil said they wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to have been a hate crime.
"Especially if it's somewhere in this area, where transgender women are targeted," resident Cierra Burks said, according to Click On Detroit. "I'm glad she fought back. I'm glad she's still here."
Those with more information on the crime are urged to contact call the Detroit Police Department at 313-596-2200.
[Photo: Screenshot via YouTube]