Police were on Thursday investigating the death of a 21-year-old transgender woman who was gunned down while pounding on the front door of a South Los Angeles home seeking help.
Deshawnda Sanchez, known as "Tata," was shot around 4 a.m. Wednesday on the front porch of a home near South Wilton Place and West 62nd Street (map), according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
"She was definitely at that door, pounding on that door seeking help at the time she was shot," LAPD Detective Christopher Barling said.
The occupant of the Chesterfield Square home came outside after hearing multiple gunshots but it was too late.
A neighbor's surveillance camera captured part of the incident, which showed someone pulling up to the house in a vehicle, getting out and running up to the porch. The figure could then be seen running back to the vehicle and driving away, police said.
"The footage, it was heartbreaking," said Diana Williams, the victim's sister.
Detectives believe Sanchez was running away from a robber when she was shot, but said they were not ruling out other scenarios.
"Deshawnda is a transgender female," Barling said. "At this point, we cannot say it's a hate crime but we have not ruled out that as being a possibility."
The victim lives out the area but has family in Compton. Her relatives were trying to determine how and why she was in the
But the victim's twin sister said she believed Sanchez had been targeted because of her gender identity.
"I think that because they found out that he was a dude, and they killed him," Deshanda Bradley said.
Bradley said she would no longer be able to celebrate the birthday she shared with her "other half."
"It's never going to be the same ... my whole heart is missing," Bradley said.
Correction: A previous version of this story gave the wrong city in which the shooting took place. It has since been updated with the correct information.