LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Novaa, a trans man, was shot and killed at a Lynchburg Family Dollar Monday night at the age of 23. Police say they do not have evidence to believe it was a hate crime.
The Lynchburg Police Department says Erica Jade Boykin of Lynchburg, was shot shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday, June 14 at the Family Dollar at 2029 Fort Avenue.
Boykin was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital, where he later died.
According to police, Boykin was a man who was assigned female at birth.
While the department did not provide any other names for Boykin, a close family friend confirmed to WFXR News that he still went by his birth name Erica, but he also went by E and Novaa. The friend said he was a rapper under the name NovaaBaby and would most likely prefer being referred to as Novaa.
A close family friend of Novaa told WFXR News that the 23-year-old was a “beautiful spirit with an AMAZING heart” who loved children.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2020 was the most violent year on record for transgender and gender non-conforming people, with 44 of them being killed. So far this year, they HRC is reporting 28 killings, not including Novaa.
“At this time we don’t have any information to indicate that this was a hate crime,” said Carrie Dungan, spokesperson for the Lynchburg Police Department.
As of Tuesday, June 15, police have not named a suspect. As part of the investigation, Dungan says they’re looking into the possibility that it was domestic.
A child was at the scene of the shooting. Dungan says the child is safe, but she could not say who the child is with now.
Not only is this an unusually deadly year for transgender people nationally, it’s deadly locally, as well.
This is now the seventh homicide in Lynchburg this year. Last year saw four homicides while 2018 saw eight.
“That is high,” said Dungan. “When we had those eight homicides, that was the highest that we’d had in several years, and it’s the highest up until this year, it’s the highest that we’ve seen recently.”
With half the year left, she says Lynchburg is on track to exceed that high water mark.
“Yes we are, and it’s absolutely something we’re concerned with,” said Dungan.
If you were in the area during the shooting, you are asked to call Detective Miller at (434) 455-6160 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900. The investigation into Boykin’s homicide is still ongoing.
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