Puerto Rico Governor Believes Fatal Shooting Is Hate Crime

Feb 25, 2020
2:39 PM

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez speaks to reporters on February 25, 2020 in San Juan. (Photo by La Fortaleza)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The recent killing of a person believed to be a transgender woman that has shocked and angered many in Puerto Rico is likely a hate crime, Gov. Wanda Vázquez said Tuesday.

While no one has been arrested, she said the investigation into the fatal shooting of a person identified as Neulisa Luciano Ruiz is making progress.

“Everything points to this being a hate crime, and that’s how it will be treated,” she said.

The victim’s body was found Monday in the northern town of Toa Baja.

Police are investigating whether a video that was made public where at least two men are heard mocking and threatening a person believed to be the victim followed by gunfire is the actual killing.

Activist Pedro Julio Serrano said in a statement that he was outraged by the killing.

“There’s no doubt that transphobia and intolerance had much to do in this case,” he said.

Police said they had received a complaint about the victim on Sunday from a female who was in a woman’s bathroom at a fast food place when Ruiz allegedly entered.