Pa. Transgender Woman Is Killed, and Man Who Told Police She'd Been Shot Is Charged with Her Murder
The death of Mia Green is at least the 29th fatality of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2020
The driver told police his passenger had been shot, and he was racing to get her to a hospital.
Officers in Philadelphia who stopped the 2016 Jeep Wrangler that bore past a stop sign shortly after 8 a.m. Monday let the driver proceed -- and even escorted the vehicle to Penn-Presbyterian Hospital, where 29-year-old Mia Green, a transgender woman, was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to her neck.
The driver, 28-year-old Abdullah Ibn El-Amin Jaamia, was taken to police headquarters and questioned. After police determined he allegedly was responsible for Green's death, he was arrested and charged with her murder, reports NBC Philadelphia.
“His initial story made absolutely no sense to us, which raised our suspicions,” homicide Capt. Jason Smith told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The murder pushes the tally of documented fatal attacks against transgender or gender non-conforming persons nationally in 2020 to at least 29, mostly targeting Black and Latinx women, and further surpassing the previous record of at least 27 last year, says the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a civil rights organization that advocates for the LGBTQ community.
"We say at least because too often these stories go unreported -- or misreported," the organization said in a statement on its website. "These victims, like all of us, are loving partners, parents, family members, friends and community members. They worked, went to school and attended houses of worship. They were real people -- people who did not deserve to have their lives taken from them."
RELATED VIDEO: A 'Rising Epidemic of Violence' in the Transgender Community
Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs followed reports of Green's murder with a statement saying: "While the details around Mia Green’s death are the subject of an ongoing investigation, we know that the loss of yet another trans community member of color is especially painful, no matter the circumstances."
“This latest act of violence against a member of our community is a somber reminder of the epidemic of violence against trans individuals," according to the office. "It is a crisis that cannot be allowed to persist any further. The countless painful losses experienced during this year alone—especially within our transgender communities of color— remind us that there is much work to be done in the pursuit of full equality, respect, and justice for us all."
Smith said the victim died after an apparent argument with El-Amin Jaamia inside the vehicle, reports the Inquirer.
The suspect fired three times from a gun that had been lodged between the driver’s seat and center console, he said, striking Green in the back of her neck, in her left arm and grazing her left side.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
He did not comment on the relationship between the two, and said police still were searching for a .22-caliber revolver they believe was used in the shooting.
Deja Lynn Alvarez, a transgender community activist in Philadelphia, posted on her Facebook page: “For all of the folks that see this I want to make sure that it is very clear this young lady was not murdered by someone who did not know her or by someone who did not know that she was transgender. She was murdered by someone that she had a long intimate relationship with which is more often than not the case! STOP BLAMING TRANS PEOPLE FOR THEIR OWN MURDERS!”
Green's "smile was so perfect and so contagious. She made me laugh,” a friend shared on social media, according to HRC, Another wrote that she was “such a sweet spirit.”
Green's death follows the murder earlier this year in Philadelphia of another transgender woman, Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells, 27, whose body was found in the Schuylkill River in June. She had been beaten and stabbed. Her severed legs were discovered nearby. Police identified Fell’s suspected murderer as 36-year-old Akhenaton Jones and issued a warrant for his arrest, but he has not been apprehended.
An attorney for El-Amin Jaamia, who was being held without bond, was not identified in court records, and it was not immediately known whether he'd entered a plea.