(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
This past Saturday people a community of people gathered because one of their own had been taken from them too soon.
Lashai Mclean, 23, was shot and killed in Northeast DC during the early morning of July 20. It was in the same neighborhood as the Wanda Alston House and Transgender Health Empowerment. Lashai was a client at THE but not a resident of the Wanda Alston House.
Deputy D.C. Police Chief Diane Groomes, who spoke at the vigil, said later that homicide detectives are pursuing information provided by a witness that the fatal shooting took place shortly after two unidentified males “had some words” with Mclean in an alley shortly before she was shot.
“The motive is still not clear to us,” Groomes told the Blade after the vigil. Groomes said police haven’t found evidence of either a robbery or a hate crime in the early stages of the investigation.
She was one of younger clients, she came to our drop-in center, most of our staff knew her because she came here on a weekly basis.
There was a point where she was here almost everyday.
–Brian Watson, THE program director
Early information was that Lashai was with another member of the community who survived the attack and ran away, but it was not known who that was.
After initially identifying Lashai by her male birth name, supposedly in the interests of her privacy, the police have tried to act conciliatory.
Every homicide in the District of Columbia is a tragedy for which the perpetrators must be brought to swift justice.
However, if the investigation concludes that this shooting was the result of bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, MPD and my administration will work with this community to see that there is an appropriate response to this kind of violence, which cannot be tolerated.
–Mayor Vincent Gray
To the family and to the community, I want you to know that we are committed to making sure that justice is done, that this life that has touched many of us will be remembered and the life that she led will be remembered.
–Paul Quander, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety
The vigil took place in 100 degree temperatures. Lashai’s mother was overcome by grief and suffered a seizure and was rushed by ambulance to a hospital. Two other family members were detained by police after a scuffle involving a tire iron.
Fox News practices defame the victim: