DeMarkis Stansberry was a 30-year-old black transgender man residing in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
On Saturday, DeMarkis was fatally shot in the head by Nicholas Matthews, who just turned 24 on Monday.
Matthews was booked by sheriff's deputies for negligent homicide, illegal use of a weapon, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Matthews told investigators he thought he’d emptied the handgun’s magazine when he fired a number of rounds on New Year’s Eve and didn’t realize any bullets remained in the gun, the report says.
Frederick Matthews, Stansberry’s friend and the brother of the shooter, said he’d gone to his brother’s house with Stansberry to pick up DJ equipment and was in another room when the shooting happened, the report says.
Although he originally told detectives he’d seen the front door open and an unknown assailant running down Prescott Drive immediately after the shooting, Frederick Matthews eventually changed his story under questioning, the report says.
He also said that he had noticed a handgun tucked into his brother’s front waistband when he arrived at the house with Stansberry Saturday, the report says.
He walked into the kitchen and heard a gunshot seconds later.
After hearing the gunshot, Frederick Matthews said he went back into the living room and saw his brother holding a gun and standing over Stansberry’s body, repeatedly saying, “I f***** up. I f***** up,” the report says.
Frederick called his father, who told Frederick to call 911.
Nicholas drove away from the house with the handgun and hid the gun in a vacant lot, but after turning himself in Saturday evening told police where to find the weapon.
Stansberry, who was shot in the head, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, said Dr. William “Beau” Clark, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner.
Although Stansberry was born a woman and is referred to as such in the Sheriff’s Office report, Myesha Brown, who said she was Stansberry’s girlfriend of fours years, said Stansberry identified as a male and went by the first name of “Demarkis.”
Stansberry’s death becomes the fourth reported transgender homicide this year, after the killings of Monica Loera, Kayden Clarke, and Maya Young.
As with the other three trans homicides this year, the reporting on Stansberry’s death by non-LGBT sources deadnames and misgenders Stansberry, even after his partner of four years, Myesha Brown, told reporters that her late partner identified as male.
These problems reveal an increasingly serious need for training in affirmative reporting about the lives and deaths of transgender individuals in mainstream publications. Advocates for equality insist that, even in death, an LGBT person or any person from a marginalized community can be further victimized by what is often called “spirit murder” — culturally disrespectful misidentifications that corrupt the presence of a person after their passing.
Cleis Abeni, Advocate.com
Former advocate.com correspondent attemped to resore DeMarkis cultural on Twitter:
#DemarkisStansberry So easy to just remember his murder. He was more. He was a man who worked 2 jobs, loved his fiancee, his dog, & rapping.
7:15 AM - 29 Feb 2016
Advocate.com reports two other black trans people have died under violent circumstances this year, both in Texas: Veronica Banks Cano was found dead, fully clothed in a bathtub in a San Antonio motel. Nino Acox Jackson's body was pulled from Lake Ray Hubbard in mid-February. Jackson's car had been found abandoned on the Highway 190 exit ramp to I-30 at the end of January.
In related news, Philadelphia residents Tiffany Floyd, 24, and Jose Pena, 19, are both charged with murder and conspiracy in connection with the death of Maya Young, a Philadelphia resident originally from Vineland, NJ.