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3 of the 13 confirmed transgender homicides nationwide this year have occurred in Jacksonville

Jacksonville now is the home of 23 percent of this year's transgender homicides across the nation. All three have been black transgender women.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A third black transgender woman died Sunday in a shooting at a Southside hotel, with Jacksonville now making up 23 percent of the transgender homicides for the nation.

JSO responded to the shooting sometime after 1 p.m. Sunday in the 8300 block of Dix Ellis Trail, where a gunshot victim was pronounced dead at the Quality Inn.

RELATED | Police in Jacksonville identify 24-year-old homicide victim believed to be transgender

Based on JSO’s description of the victim, she’s believed to be a transgender woman in her 20s.

So far, the only suspect information available at this time is that investigators are looking for a male in a beige vehicle.

"This isn't something that should be considered normal," said Christina Kittle, an activist in Jacksonville. "People are dying, this is very serious."

Kittle, who works with a number of organizations in Jacksonville, says a lot of people in the transgender community are on edge.

"A lot of my friends are scared, they're just scared to go out," Kittle said. "I mean, I would be scared too."

The Human Rights Campaign has tracked each homicide case where a victim identified as trans, and at least 13 as of Sunday have occurred in the United States. Three of those occurred right here on the First Coast.

The first one this year occurred on Feb. 4, when 36-year-old Celine Walker was found shot and killed inside a room at the Extended Stay America in the Southpoint area.

The second transgender homicide occurred June 1, when 38-year-old Antash’a English was found with a gunshot wound to the abdomen between two abandoned homes in the 1500 block of Ella Street. She later died at a hospital.

RELATED: Slain Jacksonville transgender woman remembered for being ‘bold’ and ‘unapologetic’

A vigil was held on June 7 for English, with members coming together to not only pay tribute to her memory but raise money for her burial and funeral service. The vigil and benefit show raised enough funds to cover the cost of that service.

No suspects have been named in these two cases as of Sunday.

Kittle says she does not want these killings to be looked over.

"Even if [JSO] don't have the answers, they need to have the sense of urgency in finding them and we need to start taking these lives seriously," Kittle said.

In these first two homicide cases, JSO misgendered the women by their birth gender, which drew criticism from the Human Rights Campaign and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

JSO attributes this to their policy of using a homicide victim’s most current form of government-issued identification.

For many trans people, their documents may not properly reflect their preferred gender/pronouns, etc.

This Wednesday, a local activist group is hosting a Trans Lives Matter event outside the Duval County Courthouse at 7 p.m. Find out more information here.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding these cases to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000 you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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