New Orleans police investigate killings of 2 transgender women within 48 hours

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) --  The LGBT community in New Orleans is reeling from the killings of two transgender women that occurred within 48 hours and a few miles of one another.

The first happened on Feb. 25 at around 8:26 p.m. local time when responding officers found Chyna Gibson lying unresponsive in a parking lot between two vehicles and suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds on Downman Road in New Orleans, Louisiana, police said. Gibson was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the New Orleans Police Department.

Gibson, a transgender woman and drag performer, lived in California and was visiting friends in her native New Orleans when she was gunned down, according to ABC affiliate WGNO.

The New Orleans Police Department released images of two people who they believe may have information about Gibson’s death. The individuals are not wanted for the killing but are only wanted for questioning, police said.

 Two days later and a few miles away on Columbus Street, responding officers found an “unknown black male” suffering from stab wounds shortly before 9 a.m. local time on Feb. 27. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries, according to a statement from the New Orleans Police Department.

According to WGNO, the victim was another transgender woman, Ciara McElveen.

Police said video surveillance from the area suggests the victim arrived in a two-door black Chevrolet Camaro with chrome rims.

Witnesses later told detectives they saw a man in a black car leave the vehicle and remove something from the trunk. The man then walked around to the passenger side where he apparently stabbed the victim, police said. The victim was removed from the car and fell to the ground. Witnesses told detectives they then saw the suspect get back in the car and drive off.

 The New Orleans Police Department released images of a vehicle of interest in connection with the stabbing death. Authorities are seeking to speak with the vehicle’s owner, as they believe this individual may have information pertinent to the investigation.

Police do not believe the two killings are connected, and detectives don’t suspect the victims were targeted because of their gender, according to WGNO.

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