Monica Loera is the First Trans Woman to be Killed in the U.S. This Year

By Kenrya Rankin Feb 01, 2016

After a year that saw a record high number of homicides of transgender women of color, The Austin Chronicle reports that Monica Loera was the first known trans woman to be killed in the United States in 2016.

The 43-year-old Latina was shot in the doorway of her Austin home on January 22. But according to, news of her death didn’t reach the wider community until recently because both the police report and local media misgendered her, using an outdated and inaccurate name and photo.

Loera was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after the shooting. Police arrested 29-year-old JonCasey Rowell for the shooting less than a week later, and he is currently being held via a $250,000 bond. Per the police report, Loera’s roommate said Rowell repeatedly knocked on their door until Loera said she was going to get rid of him. After she went to the door, the roommate heard what sounded like a firecracker and Loera said, “he shot me.”