The victim was reportedly homeless and the murderers recorded their crime.
Puerto Rican officials have confirmed that a transgender woman named Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, better known as Alexa, was killed early Monday morning.
NBC reports her death came only hours after police responded to a call that she had used the women's room at a McDonald’s restaurant.
Although there is no confirmed proof that the two incidents are connected, her killers posted a disturbing video on YouTube which shows them planning the murder followed by the sound of gunshots.
In the video you can hear someone ask, “Hey, can you give me some of that ass?"
Other dialogue can be heard in the video:
“We are going to shoot you up.”
“Let’s spin the tires on this motherf-----.”
“You bet I am going to go and shoot him.”
Reports say what sounds like a gun being loaded can be heard then fired at least 10 times.
Calls have come into the police department which point to four teenagers.
“This is a horrifying crime that must be investigated with the utmost thoroughness and care. This victim, who has now been identified as Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, was a human being, a member of a community, a friend and family member,” said HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper. “She had dreams, hopes, hobbies and did not deserve to have her life taken from her. HRC has heard that Ruiz was experiencing homelessness, further highlighting the ways a toxic mix of transphobia and misogyny conspire to put the transgender community at risk of extreme violence.”
San Juan-based LGBTQ activist Pedro Julio Serrano, says the investigation should be treated as a hate crime.
“The terrible murder of a trans woman, revealed in a video where she is stalked and hunted, is nothing more than a hate crime motivated by intolerance," Serrano posted on his website.
"The authorities have the obligation to investigate this murder without prejudice," Serrano adds. "The media also have the responsibility of using correct pronouns and no longer promoting transphobia by cataloging a trans woman as a 'man dressed as a woman'. In addition, we must denounce the hate speech of the fundamentalist groups that have promoted a climate where they are prosecuted and persecuted by a trans person for the mere fact of using a bathroom.”
Initial reports by the media described Ruiz as “a man dressed in a black skirt.”
Puerto Rico's governor, Wanda Vázquez, said on Tuesday the murder will be treated as a hate crime.
A social media campaign has been started in Ruiz's honor. People are tagging posts with hashtag #SeLlamabaAlexa, or “Her name was Alexa.”
The family has yet to claim Ruiz's body.