Police Praised for Investigation of Transgender Shooting

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One D.C. organization said they have been somewhat pleased with the police investigation of two shooting incidents—one fatal—involving transgendered women in Northeast D.C. in July.

Earline Budd, founder of local group Transgender Health Empowerment (THE), said the Metropolitan Police Department is doing “alright” to find out suspects for each shooting case.

“The police are getting tips from the transgendered community,” Budd said. “We were told that a couple of tips have led to a couple of people at a house in that area.”

Around 4:30 a.m. on July 20, on the 6100 block of Dix Street, N.E., the body of Myles Mclean, known as Lashai, was discovered by police officers. Mclean suffered a gunshot wound and was immediately taken the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

According to the police, the victim and a witness were approached by two Black males—one 6 feet tall with a light complexion and thin build, and the other shorter with a darker complexion, both in their late teens or early 20s. One subject started to ask questions and “without provocation,” the suspect killed Mclean with a semi-automatic handgun.

Eleven days later, at around 2:45 a.m. in the 6200 block of the same street, a suspect, described as a 5-foot-6-inch Black male with dark complexion, approached a transgendered woman and asked for change. Without waiting for a reply, the suspect pulled the trigger of a semi-automatic handgun and shot at the victim but missed.

As both cases involve the same location and a transgendered woman, police are investigating the crimes as a “potential emerging pattern.” MPD said their Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) teamed with D.C.’s Sixth District and the Prince George’s County Police Department to enhance patrols in the area of the crimes. They also said flyers will be distributed.

“It was definitely enlightening to see a woman come in [Tuesday] who said a detective popped up at her house,” the transgender advocate said. “She believes those transgendered women are being targeted in that area. It’s very dangerous.”

Budd said she appreciated the efforts of MPD, which recently came under scrutiny by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) community for their lack of communication and follow through on possible hate crimes.

“I think at this point, they are doing alright—until I see more,” she said.

Both cases are being investigated by the Homicide Branch and the Sixth District Detectives Unit.