Paloma Vazquez murder: Transgender woman killed in Houston apartment fleeing violence in Latin America, friends say

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Candles, flags and posters decorated the steps outside Houston City Hall Thursday night in honor of a 29-year-old woman killed in her own home.

“She has just moved into her new apartment and is very excited about the decoration,” said Gia Pacheco, a friend of the victim.

Paloma Vazquez, a transgender woman, was found shot inside her Gulfton apartment in southwest Houston on Saturday. Police said there was no sign of force entering her apartment at 6600 Dunlap, and she was shot twice.

“Whenever a transgender person is killed, they are killed because they are transgender,” Pacheco said.

The Latina Trans organization in Texas said Vazquez only immigrated to the US six months ago from Latin America.

ORIGINAL STORY: Transgender woman found dead with multiple gunshot wounds in her southwest Houston apartment, HPD says

“Like most transgender women from Latin America, they came here out of fear of being killed in their own country,” Pacheco said.

Another friend, Valentin Terrazas, said: “There is a lot of permutation in Latin America. “They come here for asylum and to improve their lives and have a future here.”

Vazquez is the latest in a string of recent murders of transgender women in Houston.

Iris Santos, 22, was fatally shot while sitting outside a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Westheimer in April 2021.

SEE MORE: Mother of murdered Houston transgender woman hopes for justice

“We are here to represent them and continue to fight for them,” Terrazas said.

Police are still hunting for the gunmen in both killings. The group demands justice and respect.

“We exist. We pay taxes. We pay the bills. We built this country, transgender people, and we need respect,” said Tayze Duarte, another friend.

Police have yet to identify Vazquez’s next of kin.

If you know anything about her murder, you can anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

For more on this story, follow Shelley Childers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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