Last week, a fatal shooting took place in Cedar Park, Texas, about 20 miles north of Austin. Although the suspect has been arrested and charged with murder, the victim’s family is now asking for the Black woman’s death to be investigated as a hate crime because she was gay.
Akira Ross was pumping gas in Texas when she was shot on Friday (June 2). Authorities have identified the suspect as 23-year-old Bradley Stanford. Cedar Park police say after pulling the trigger, the gunman fled the crime scene in a vehicle as the 24-year-old bled out and died at the gas station. Stanford was arrested on Sunday (June 4) near Corpus Christi, according to AP News. It is not immediately known what led to the deadly encounter, although some suspect a motive.
Yesterday (June 7), the outlet stated that her family believes the incident was targeted. “It was a hate crime,” Anthony Hill, the father of Ross, said. The grieving parent shared that he spoke to a witness who told him the suspect shouted anti-gay slurs at his daughter before gunning her down at the Texas gas station. “She didn’t know him. She gets out of the car, and he starts calling her gay slurs for no reason,” he added. Cedar Park police backed his claims that the two never met before the altercation. “Our initial investigation revealed Stanford and Ross did not know each other,” the department disclosed.
Yesterday (June 7), Stanford was transferred to Williamson County. Before that, he was held in the San Patricio County Jail on one count of murder and did not have a lawyer listed. “Losing a daughter is like swallowing a razor blade. Nobody wants to deal with that kind of pain. Everybody just loved Akira. She loved bringing joy to other people,” Hill shared as he coped with the monumental loss.
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