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Philly cops seek killer of trans woman, say motive behind shooting unclear

Shantee Tucker, 30, was fatally shot on Old York Road in Hunting Park early Wednesday.

Shantee Tucker
Shantee TuckerRead moreCourtesy of Tatyana Woodard

Philadelphia police are seeking help in identifying the person who fatally shot a 30-year-old woman in Hunting Park early Wednesday.

Police identified the victim as Shante Tucker of Philadelphia. The transgender woman's first name was spelled Shantee by friends and on her own Facebook page.

Although friends and activists in the transgender community believe Tucker's gender was a motive behind her killing, Homicide Capt. John Ryan said Wednesday that police do not agree with that conclusion.

Tucker was on the 4300 block of Old York Road about 1 a.m. when she had an argument with a person in a black pickup truck, possibly a Ford, Ryan said at an afternoon news conference. Police believe the driver of the truck shot her at least once in the back as she was running away, Ryan said. Police recovered eight 9mm fired cartridge casings at the scene, he said.

"The motive for this killing at this time is unknown," Ryan said. Police believe that Tucker knew the shooter, but Ryan declined to elaborate.

Asked if Tucker's gender might have had anything to do with the crime, Ryan said he didn't think so. "She wasn't targeted because of her gender affiliation or lifestyle," he said.

Tucker was taken to Temple University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about five hours after the shooting, Ryan said. He said the black pickup was known to have frequented that area of Old York Road, although he declined to elaborate. The older-model truck had no tailgate and had items in the truck bed, he said.

Ryan said that Tucker was also known to frequent that area of Old York Road, but he declined to elaborate.

Tatyana Woodard, a friend of Tucker's, said by phone that Tucker "was a very genuine person, a very real person, down-to-earth." She said Tucker worked in a beauty-supply store in North Philadelphia.

Woodard, a community-health engagement coordinator for the trans community at the Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia's largest LGBT health-care provider, said she believes Tucker was targeted because she was a transgender woman.

Christian Lovehall, a trans equity program coordinator at Galaei, a social-justice organization, said he didn't know Tucker personally, but said the trans community is "definitely grieving at this time."

He said the organization would honor Tucker at a sign-making event from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at its North Philadelphia office. The event had already been scheduled to make signs for the annual Philly Trans March on Oct. 6, he said.

The public needs to realize that these "women are daughters, moms, aunties, people with families," he said. They should be "able to live their authentic lives without being murdered for it," he said.