'It's Absolutely an Epidemic': Texas Transgender Woman Was Killed in 2020, Suspect Just Arrested

So far in 2022, at least 31 transgender people have been killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign

Asia Jynaé Foster, tansgender woman murdered in Houston
Asia Jynaé Foster. Photo: Asia Jynaé Foster/Instagram

Since 2020, the family of Asia Jynaé Foster has sought justice after the Black transgender woman was found fatally shot in the middle of the road near the Houston Galleria.

On Tuesday, 32-year-old Jermal Richards was arrested and charged with one count of murder in connection with Foster's death, according to a statement from Houston Police.

Richards is being held without bond, and has yet to appear before a judge to enter a plea. Information on whether he has a lawyer was not available Friday.

Foster was last seen entering a car that wasn't her own the night she was killed.

According to the statement, on Nov. 20, 2020, "officers were dispatched to a person down call in the roadway" along East Greenridge Drive — near the Houston Galleria — "and found Ms. Foster with at least one gunshot wound," reads the Houston Police statement on Richards' arrest.

Paramedics responded to the scene, where Foster, 22, was pronounced dead.

"Further investigation identified Richards as a suspect in this case," the statement continues.

KTRK in Houston reports that Foster met up with Richards at his apartment complex near the Galleria on the evening she was killed.

Bird Foster, Asia's mother, told KTRK she wants the perpetrator "to do time. I want to see him wake up every day behind bars. He has to see it every day, the rest of this life."

She called the alarming number of murders of transgender people "absolutely an epidemic."

Jermal Tyrelle Richards, 32, now charged with murder in the Nov. 2020 fatal shooting of a transgender female at 3400 East Greenridge Drive
Jermal Tyrelle Richards. Houston Police/Twitter

Bird said she'd always accepted Asia for who she was, and does not understand why people are being targeted in America for their gender identity.

"Why?," she asked. "The hate you have for someone is someone else living some other way. Not your life. They just want to live their life some sort of way."

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So far in 2022, at least 31 transgender people have been killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

In 2021, the agency tracked 50 homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people.

At least 37 transgender and gender non-conforming persons were killed in 2020.

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