Detroit man charged in shooting death of Black transgender woman

Deontae Antoine Close, 31, of Detroit is charged with second-degree murder.

Kym Worthy holds a press conference addressing the murder of two trans people in Detroit.

Eli Newman, WDET

Detroit is reporting its second murder of a transgender woman of color in just over four weeks.

A Detroit man named Deontae Antoine Close, 31, has been charged in connection to the homicide of 33-year-old Dede Ricks from Ohio last month. Close faces second-degree murder and felony firearm charges.

Back in July, 28-year-old Hayden Davis was found dead and a suspect in her murder has not been identified. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says the two incidents do not seem to be related, but bias crimes are on the rise.

“We must strongly reject tropes labeling LGBTQ citizens as groomers and pedophiles, because that is precisely the reason why these crimes are escalating,” said Worthy.

Worthy says members of the LGBTQ community are the second most targeted group for hate crimes nationally. Michigan reported 377 hate crimes in 2020, 62 were motivated by biases against gender identities and sexual orientations. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 28 transgender people have been shot or killed in the U.S. this year. Four of those crimes have occurred in Michigan.

Julisa Abad is a victim advocate for Fair Michigan and believes social media is fueling violence against the trans community.

“We also know the stigma that comes with being trans, right? If you are a defendant and think that a trans person is not going to come forward and report. Or you think that police is not going to be culturally competent and take your crime serious, you’re more than likely going to assault us, cause us harm, go out there and try to victimize us, right,” Abad says.

Photo Credit: Eli Newman, WDET


Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Eli Newman
    Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.