A Philadelphia transgender woman is hospitalized in critical but stable condition after she was attacked over the weekend — an incident that’s being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The woman and two cisgender women were attacked in the early hours of Sunday as they were leaving a speakeasy bar in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, police said according to local television station WPVI-TV.
The incident happened around 4:30 a.m. Investigators said that the altercation began when a man bumped into the trans woman inside the bar and began to yell insults.
When the three women left the club, the man was reportedly outside waiting for them. He started yelling homophobic slurs at the trans woman before brutally attacking her.
“The man waited outside by the car for well over an hour for them to come outside,” said transgender rights advocate Deja Alvarez, who serves as the LGBTQ care coordinator for the city’s Department of Public Health.
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The trans woman, who hasn’t been identified, was “pistol-whipped,” according to WTXF-TV. The two other women were shot after they tried to intervene. They also had to be hospitalized and are listed as stable.
“[The victim] informed the police that this person was saying very, saying very ignorant words to her that she absolutely believed it was for how she appeared, her identity, how she was dressed,” Alvarez said.
“Those are the kinds of facts that are very important in determining whether or not the intent of the crime was based upon hate or animus,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told reporters during a press conference.
On Monday, Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement shared on social media that he was “horrified to learn about this incident.”
“Any acts of hate or intolerance are unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Philadelphia,” he tweeted Monday afternoon,” adding that city officials are working with partners “to remain briefed on this incident and remain available for support.”
Kenney also urged anyone “with information about this incident, or any other crimes, to report it to 215-686-TIPS. Reports can be made anonymously.”
The city’s Office of LGBT Affairs said anyone who has been affected by this “horrific incident” should call (215) 686-0330 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for support.