Selena Reyes-Hernandez, 37, was allegedly killed by 18-year-old high school student Orlando Perez after she told him that she was trans, the New York Daily News reports. Perez was so angry when he found out that he shot her multiple times, and then later returned to the scene to shoot her body again.
According to prosecutors, Reyes-Hernandez and Perez met around 5:30 a.m. on May 31. They were hanging out in her basement apartment when she told him she was trans, which is when he became enraged and left.
Police said that he was furious and “kept seeing her face, and it kept bothering him, and he was mad as hell.” Perez then came back to Reyes-Hernandez’s apartment with a gun and shot her in the head and back. Perez left and returned again, shooting her lifeless body in the chest, neck, and hand. Reyes-Hernandez’s family, who lives on the upper level of the home, heard some commotion. They found her body when they went to the basement.
Perez was booked on a first-degree murder charge on Sunday.
Detectives were able to apprehend Perez with the local community’s help, CBS Chicago reports. Investigators used a handful of videos from neighbors, which recorded Perez in the neighborhood before he shot Reyes-Hernandez.
The police used “almost 37 different locations within this community that had some sort of private video cameras,” Chicago Police chief of detectives, Brendan Deenihan told CBS. “I think we were able to download about 25 different videos.”
When police arrested Perez, they found a 9mm handgun and two magazines.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Reyes-Hernandez is at least the 16th transgender or gender non-conforming person to be violently killed in America in 2020. A majority of those murdered were trans women of color.