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Suspect Identified for the Murder of Black Trans Man Righteous "TK" Hill, Potential Motive Revealed

News & Opinion

Details surrounding the death of a 35-year-old, Black trans man and LGBTQIA+ community leader, Righteous Torrence “TK” Hill (Chevy) have been released. On the evening of February 28, Hill was murdered outside the front yard of his home by an anonymous gunman, in East Point, Georgia where he suffered from three gunshot wounds. 

The identity of the suspected gunman, including a potential motive, has now been revealed. 

According to a GLAAD interview, released on March 14, Hill’s mother, Verna Hill Wilcox, says Jaylen Hill, 22, Hill’s cousin, murdered her son. Tragically, in the case of fatalities against trans people, the cause of death is usually incited by transmisia, however Wilcox shares that Jaylen Hill killed her son due to hate, “but it was not because he was transgender”. 

She says Jaylen was drifting between his mother’s Atlanta and Hill’s East Point residences. Furthermore, Wilcox shares that both Hill and his partner of six years, Terri Wilson, 41 committed themselves to providing Jaylen with stability despite feeling like his love and efforts were being unreciprocated. 

“TK had apparently purchased him uniforms and shoes to start another job. TK had finally reached a point where it was like, no matter what we do for you, you still have a sense of entitlement, and you’re not showing us the respect and love we’re showing you," says Verna Hill Wilcox to GLAAD. 

Wilcox goes on to say that moments before the murder, a verbal altercation occurred between Hill and Jaylen. 

“[TK] was chastising him for using their stuff. Terri let them use their vehicle, and he stayed gone for four hours. When he came back, he had an attitude about somebody else’s merchandise, and TK reprimanded him for that and told him to leave.” 

Wilcox believed this confrontation was the point her son reached his limit with reproaching Jaylen. 

“TK had a right to be angry. He had a right to tell him to get out of his house. TK had a right to tell him no; we won’t tolerate this behavior…” says, Verna Hill Wilcox 

Terri Wilson shares what she heard outside in the final moments before the shooting. 

“One of the last things that I heard Torrence say was, ‘Just leave’, and I could hear the front door open”. “When I heard the door open, I also heard Torrence say, ‘So you’re just going to shoot me?’ And that’s when I heard the gunshots."

Wilson continues, “That’s when I came downstairs…” “He was inside. The door was closed. His cousin was nowhere to be found. He was on the floor. And he started to bleed out profusely.” 

According to GLAAD, Jaylen Hill is the only suspect in the case and is currently a fugitive. 

(Source: Facebook)

A Celebration of Life was held for Hill on March 11 at the Richard R. Robinson Funeral Home in his hometown of Macon, Georgia. From his obituary, he is continued through his son, Khiree Jones; mother, Verna Hill Wilcox; stepfather, Zeb Wilcox, Jr.; sister, Ashantye’ Ford; brother, Joshua (Sarah) Hill; and partner, Terri Wilson. 

Sybastian Smith, National Organizer at the National Center for Transgender Equality, delivered Hill’s eulogy. 

“Whether you felt loved, protected, listened to, entertained to, cared for, or motivated, whatever it was, he made you feel something”, says Smith. 

The Human Rights Campaign, which began tracking fatal violence against trans people in 2013, reports that Hill is the 21st transgender person killed in Georgia, making the state the fifth highest total of identified transgender victims. Additionally, 20 out of 21 of these victims were murdered by a firearm. 

In spite of, Hill was ultimately surrounded by love and care from family, friends, and the community at large who he dedicated his life to serving.


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