Since the Black Voice News published its recent report “Raising our voices for transgender lives” another African American member of the transgender community was brutally murdered.

The original article highlighted the growing number of murdered transgendered women, mostly black, whose deaths go unnoticed.

This week, police in Maryland began an investigation into the murder of Zella Ziona a transgender woman shot to death Thursday, October 15.

According to reports, there was an initial fight that appeared to involve several individuals. During the scuffle Ziona was reportedly struck with a stick but appeared to get the upper hand.

Witnesses reported Ziona was subsequently lured to an alley where a suspect wearing a monster mask jumped from behind a dumpster and shot her several times in both the head and groin.

Family members stated twenty-one-year-old Ziona, whose given name was DeAndre Smith, was on her way to place flowers on her grandmother’s grave when the attack occurred.

For more information on the efforts to stop the murder of transgender individuals visit

Words by: S. E. Williams


S.E. Williams

Stephanie E. Williams is an award winning investigative reporter, editor and activist who has contributed to several Inland Empire publications. Williams spent more than thirty years as a middle-manager...