Trans Murder Remains Unsolved
One year after her violent shooting death on a downtown Oakland street, those who knew Brandy Martell are preparing to remember her and call attention to her killing, which hasn’t been solved.
Martell, a transgender woman who lived in Hayward, was shot at about 5 a.m. April 29, 2012 as she and some friends socialized in her car at Franklin and 13th streets in Oakland. The motive for the homicide, which drew national attention, isn’t clear.
Fremont’s Tri-City Health Center and TransVision, a transgender program based at the center, are sponsoring a candlelight vigil set for 7 to 8:30 p.m., Monday, April 29, at the scene of the shooting in Oakland. Martell, who’s been remembered for her sense of humor and for being a role model, was once a peer advocate for TransVision.
Officer Johnna Watson, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department, said the investigation into Martell’s homicide is still active, and police are still working on leads, but she couldn’t discuss details.
"Investigators have followed up on leads, but we did not have enough information to make an arrest." Watson said.
Along with the people in Martell’s car, others were nearby when Martell was killed, and Watson said that getting people who saw or heard something to come forward "is going to really be the key" to finding who’s responsible.
While Martell, who was 37, is missed, her death has brought some changes.
Tiffany Woods, who’s TransVision’s coordinator and knew Martell well, said "the major change" is that there’s "much more awareness of transgender people in Alameda County. They live here. They’re part of the community. This could happen to them."