Family of Transgender woman speaks to FOX 26 following deadly shooting of their loved one

Family and community advocates now speaking with FOX 26 after the death of another transgender woman who was shot and killed right outside of a restaurant at 8609 Westheimer Road.

The shooting happened at about 9:40 p.m. on April 23, taking the life of 22-year-old Iris Santos.

"It was shocking to me to know that I lost my daughter," said Maria Carreon, mother of Iris Santos.

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Santos was laid to rest over the weekend.

Houston Police Department still looking for the man they believe shot her, releasing surveillance video on social media.

Dee Dee Watters, whose name is growing within the transgender community as an activist telling FOX 26, this is a sad reality for those who are transgender.

"When you look at how visible transgender people are becoming, we are now starting to see more of these attacks happen," said Watters.

She says, more common than not, these killings are at the hands of someone these women know.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, in 2020, there were 44 known murders, three in Texas and one in Houston, her name was Asia Foster.

This year, there are 18 known murders, Iris Santos is number 18. She is the first in Houston and Texas this year. The majority of the victims are Black and Latina.

For Transgender individuals, the situation is severe. Posts on social media are warning those in the community to stay alert.

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Police departments are also trying to help by establishing community liaisons. Watters said these liaisons are an important link.

Police are not saying if Santos was targeted or if the shooting was random.

If you recognize the person in the surveillance video or know any information about this shooting, you’re asked to call HPD or Crime Stoppers.