Florida police have arrested and charged a man in connection with the death of a transgender woman who was fatally shot in a Tampa-area park, NBC reports.
India Clarke, 25, was shot once in the head and found dead on July 21, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. Keith Gaillard tuned himself in to police Tuesday and was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a “violent career criminal,” according to authorities.
Detectives found a fingerprint on a cigar wrapper inside Clarke’s car, and Gaillard’s public Facebook profile allegedly showed him showing off a small-caliber revolver, the sheriff’s office said.
A witness told investigators that Gaillard had a .22-caliber revolver, and that he told the witness, “I think I killed someone,” according to the sheriff’s office. Another witness allegedly told investigators that Gaillard said, “that was me,” when asked about the body found the park, the sheriff’s office said.
Online court records do not list an attorney representing Gaillard. A phone number for Gaillard’s family could not immediately be found.
Police have not yet identified a motive, but they do believe 18-year-old Gaillard knew Clarke. On Wednesday, former Olympian and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner wrote about Clarke and another transgender woman named K.C. Haggard in a blog, sending her condolences and raising awareness about the alarming number of transgender women of color who are killed in America.
“11 trans women have been killed in the United States in the past six months – most of them trans women of color,” Jenner wrote. “My condolences to those who loved India, K.C., and all of the other victims,” she continued. “No one should be killed simply because they are transgender.”
Haggard, 66, was stabbed to death in California last week.