Philadelphia Police say they have made an arrest in the beating and shooting death of a transgender person in the city's Logan section. The person arrested has been identified as 23-year-old Pedro Redding. Officials are currently searching for three more suspects.
According to police, Redding was picked up 4:00 a.m. Sunday on a tip. He allegedly lives around the corner from the murder scene, and has a prior record.
Redding was arrested two years ago for robbing a transgender individual, however the case was thrown out when the victim did not appear in court repeatedly.
He has been charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, violation of Uniform Firearms Act, and related offenses, however this is not being regarded as a hate crime.
According to police, at 13th and Wingohocking, 22-year-old Kiesha Jenkins was attacked by a group of five or six men just after 2:30 a.m. on October 6.
“During that assault one of the males pulled out a gun and while the victim was on the ground, shot the victim twice,” said Homicide Unit James Clark.
Captain Clark says the brutal attack on the young transgender individual came after Jenkins was dropped off by an unknown male in a car. Police and neighbors say the area is notorious for prostitution. The motive for the murder is unclear.
“We don't know if it's potentially a hate crime, if it was a robbery. We really don't know. It's too early in the investigation to tell.
His mother told FOX 29 her son Stephan was a fun loving, cheerful person. According to his mother, it was a situation of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was told Jenkins was killed during an attempted robbery. One woman asked not to be identified, but told FOX 29, “ “These guys was out here trying to rob the girls, and she fought back and they shot her."
Homicide detectives are searching for surveillance video as they try to identify the killers. They are also trying to identify whoever dropped Jenkins off near the murder scene.
"This would go out to the person in that vehicle, we need you to contact the homicide unit and tell us what if anything you saw as well," said Captain Clark.
Nellie Fitzpatrick, from the mayors office, tells FOX 29 there have been 21 transgender individuals murdered nationwide this year, 18 of them were minorities. She urges the LGBT community to come forward with any information that could help police catch the killers.