Police in Jacksonville, Florida fear the murders of three transgender sex workers may be linked, according to NBC News.
Celine Walker, 36, was found shot to death inside a room at an extended-stay motel on February 4. Walker became the fourth transgender person to die in the U.S. in 2018.
Police found Antash’a English, 38, suffering from a gunshot wound between two row houses. English was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Cathalina Christina James, 24, was fatally shot at a Quality Inn and Suites on Sunday. A fourth transgender victim was shot multiple times on June 8 but survived.
Police believe all three killings are linked because they were transgenders employed in the sex industry.
“The transgender community in Jacksonville is frightened,” said transgender-rights advocate Gina Duncan in a statement on Tuesday. “They fear this could be a serial killer or orchestrated violence targeting the community. They do not feel protected on their own streets.”
Paige Mahogany, the head of the Jacksonville Transgender Awareness Project, told NBC News in a phone call: “The transgender community feels like there’s a target on their backs. We don’t feel safe in Jacksonville.”