Prosecutors say a Chicago high schooler confessed to killing a woman after she told him she was transgender
A young man handcuffed by the police.
Hill Street Studios
A high school student in Chicago confessed to killing a woman after telling him she was transgender, police say.
Orlando Perez told officials he shot Selena Reyes-Hernandez twice in her home, then came back and shot her dead body again, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
"It's an even more hideous crime," a Chicago Police Department representative told reporters. "Like 'I'm going to kill someone because he chooses to live his life.'"
Reyes-Hernandez is at least the 16th transgender person who was killed in 2020.
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A Chicago student confessed to murdering a transgender woman after the police told him of her gender identity.
Orlando Perez told law enforcement officers that he shot Selena Reyes-Hernandez twice at her home, then came back and fired his gun at her lifeless body again, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Relatives: 15,000 demonstrators gathered to support Black Trans Lives
At a press conference, a representative from the Chicago Police Department said that detectives believed that Perez, 18, and Reyes-Hernandez, 37, met at around 5:30 a.m. on May 31 and then returned to Reyes-Hernandez's basement apartment in Marquette Park.
Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department
According to prosecutors, the surveillance video shows how Perez leaves at around 6 a.m., according to the Sun-Times, and then returns with a dark face.
The footage is also said to show Perez taking out a gun, bouncing the gate outside Reyes-Hernandez's house, and leaving a few minutes later.
After realizing that her door was open, he told the detectives that he had come in and shot Reyes-Hernandez in the head and back.
"He thought that was enough, so it expired," Assistant State Attorney James Murphy said during Perez's hearing on the loan. "But he saw her face again and again, so he went back there to do it again."
Perez shot her body several more times, Murphy said, and then moved her car before he fled the scene.
"It's an even more hideous crime, like, 'I'm going to kill someone because they choose to live their lives,'" said a CPD representative on Thursday.
Perez also said he moved Reyes-Hernandez's car after her murder. A gun with the same type of bullet used to kill Reyes-Hernandez was discovered at Perez, the prosecutors said.
Perez was arrested on Sunday. The officers found him on a video on Reyes-Hernandez's cell phone.
The murder took place the same weekend. More than 1,200 people were arrested in Chicago in protests against George Floyd's police murder. Other nationwide demonstrations have condemned the murders of black Americans and transgendered people.
An estimated 15,000 people marched in Brooklyn on Sunday to support the lives of black transsexuals.
Perez, who has no criminal record, is now being charged with first degree murder. He will be held on bail until his next hearing on July 6th.
"Black and Brown Trans Lives Matter," tweeted the Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, on Wednesday. "Selena Reyes-Hernandez's life is important."
Lightfoot condemned the murders of colored trans women. "To be outraged is not enough."
"We have to fight hard to protect our trans community and to demand that their attackers be brought to justice."
Protesters protest in Chicago on March 3, 2017 for transgender rights.
Scott Olson / Getty Image
According to the HRC, at least 27 transgender and gender-specific people were murdered in 2019. At least 16 transsexuals were killed that year, including Dominique Fells, whose mutilated body was discovered in Philadelphia earlier this month.
In 2018, Illinois banned the so-called "gay panic" and "transgender panic" defenses. Lawyers were prohibited from indicating that their client had been adequately provoked to violence by knowing the victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Anti-panic measures have resulted in lower charges and lighter sentences in about half of all U.S. states.
In addition to Illinois, they were banned in New York, California, and some other states.
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