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Baltimore City Police Investigating Murder Of Transgender Woman

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Loved ones are looking for answers after a transgender woman was shot to death in East Baltimore. At this point, police say it’s too early to call it a hate crime.

Mike Hellgren has more on this unsolved murder.

Family members are devastated. They say she had not reported any threats or anything unusual before she died.

Police say 29-year-old Rodney Little, who identifies as Kelly Young, was shot in a home in the 2200-block of Barclay Street early Wednesday morning. She was found on the floor suffering from a gunshot wound and transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A memorial of balloons now blows in the wind off Pennsylvania Avenue near where Kelly Young grew up. It’s a painful reminder of her loss.

Another balloon is attached to a home about two miles away on Barclay and 22nd streets, where she was shot dead.

“Everyone around here loved her.  I loved her. Last time I talked to my cousin, last thing I said to her was ‘Kelly, I love you. Be careful,'” said Secquoia Archer, victim’s cousin.

Young was transgender.  Investigators say they have yet to determine whether this is a hate crime but haven’t discounted that.

“Internally, we’ll investigate any incident as a hate crime if there is any sort of physical evidence that indicates it’s a hate crime,”  said Sgt. Eric Kowalczyk, Baltimore City police. “She had a lot of friends and a lot of loved ones who really want to bring this case to closure.”

“They should always remember that there is that possibility that it could be a hate crime.  We don’t know that for sure,” said Matt Thorn, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Baltimore interim executive director. “It was wonderful to see all the support that she had and to know that community loved her no matter who she was.”

Police say they are desperate for information but are providing few clues about the killing.

Many of Young’s friends are on edge.

“I’m scared to walk by myself and hang with a lot of people so people don’t get me.  It’s really hard to cope with her death,” said Dondria Naieem, victim’s friend.

“She was actually like my godmother.  She used to take me out.  She was very entertaining.  She used to dance, vogue.  She was very good at that.  She got awards for it,” said Adonis Adams, victim’s friend.

Young performed at a local club.

Her family–so stunned by this loss–is determined to find her killer.

“The person who did this, you will be found because everybody who’s undercover, it’s time to come out, OK?” Archer said.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call police.

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