Man Charged for the Murder of Black Transgender Woman Kitty Monroe in Tennessee

News & Opinion | Trans News

Kitty Monroe, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death during a domestic dispute at her home in Cordova, Tennessee on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, making her at least the 19th trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming person reported to die as a victim of fatal violence this year. She’s the third Black transwoman to die from gun violence in the past two weeks.


According to the criminal affidavit obtained by ABC24, police arrested Samuel Ward Jr. for the murder of Monroe after police received a call from Ward just before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Ward admitted to shooting Monroe after he said they got into a fight over him leaving her home. Police said they went to the home in the 1600 block of Oaken Bucket Drive just before 1 a.m. and found the victim shot. She died at the scene.

Samuel Ward Jr. charged for the murder of black transgender woman Kitty Monroe
Samuel Ward Jr. | Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office

The report said a witness told police they received a text from the victim, saying a man was at her apartment and wouldn't leave. The affidavit said Ward told investigators he and the victim had been fighting in her bedroom about him leaving. Ward told police that Monroe pulled a gun and "ordered him to leave."


According to the report cited by ABC24, Ward said he walked to the top of the stairs and then grabbed for the gun. They both struggled and then both fell down the stairs. When they landed, Ward told police he pulled out his own gun and shot the victim six to seven times. The affidavit said Ward took off and called the police from another location.


Police have since charged Ward Jr. with voluntary manslaughter. A bond has been set at $10,000.

Friends of Monroe shared their grief of her murder on Facebook, posting numerous photos of her and her four dogs named Chyna, Milan, Tokyo and London.


Desmond Briggs, Kitty Monroe's best friend, wrote on Facebook: "My best friend, my confidant, my diary, my sister, this was the hardest thing to do girl I just saw you, I just hugged you. I’ve been so out of it all week, I’ve never felt a pain like this before. Words can’t begin to describe how much I’m gonna miss you girl I’m in such disbelief that I won’t be able talk to my friend anymore. You were one of the first people to truly accept me for who I was/am with no expectation for anything in return. I admired you for your strength, for living in your truth and being your most authentic self. I’m gonna miss talking about our lives and plans for the future, things that terrified us, but pushing each other through. For almost 20 years you have been my closest friend, my constant, never wavering, if we talked daily or once every other week our friendship was the same, and no one could ever replace that. I love you so much girl, you were indeed my sister and Memphis…life won’t be the same without you. I’m so sorry you had to experience this friend you’ll always and forever be my Queen. Until we meet again my love….I love you to the moon and back."

Kaya Gore wrote on Facebook that Monroe's mother is "willing to seek justice, dignity and respect for her and many friends willing to offer more than condolences."

Kitty Monroe and her grandmother | Source: Facebook

Charita Denton, another friend of Monroe's, shared a Facebook post with photos: "I can't stop crying it feel like my head about to pop!!! Kitty Monroe !!!!!!!!!! I LOVE SO MUCH GIRL MY LORD IMA MISS YOU MY FRIEND, MY GIRL FOREVER All I can do is PRAY CAUSE THIS RIGHT HERE HIT IS DIFFERENT YALL JUST DON'T KNOW!!!"

A report by the HRC Foundation, “An Epidemic of Violence 2021,” found that between 2013 and 2021, approximately two-thirds of transgender and gender non-conforming people with known killers had their lives taken by an acquaintance, friend, family member or intimate partner. Intimate partners specifically accounted for over a fifth (21%) of all known perpetrators – and it is likely this may even be an undercount. To date, the relationship of the victim to the killer is still unknown for a plurality (43%) of all identified cases of fatal violence.


Gaye Magazine's staff sends our sincerest condolences to Kitty Monroe's friends and family. May she rest in heavenly peace.