The last words of a Los Angeles, California, transgender woman were captured during a 911 call just seconds before being gunned down on a stranger’s porch. Her chilling last words and video footage capturing the horrific scene of the transgender woman’s death led investigators to the suspect.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 21-year-old transgender woman Deshawnda “Ta-Ta” Sanchez called 911 around 4 a.m. on December 4, 2014 after she was allegedly robbed and attacked by an unknown suspect. Fearing for her life, she ran to a nearby house where she desperately pounded on the door for help.
“She was definitely at that door, pounding on that door seeking help,” LAPD Detective Christopher Barling stated after watching video footage of Sanchez.
When Sanchez noticed her attacker had followed her to the stranger’s home, she notified 911 dispatch – who was still on the phone – immediately, stating that “he had returned.” However, seconds later, gunshots were heard and all there was left was dead silence.
By the time California police officers arrived at the scene at South Wilton Place and West 62nd St, it was too late. The homeowner had already discovered the body of the transgender woman dead on the porch with several gunshot wounds to her body.
Her attacker got away, but due to surveillance footage capturing the horrific scene of Sanchez banging on the door for help and being gunned down, the assailant was later apprehended on Wednesday, February 26.
Sanchez’ murderer was later identified as 30-year-old James Spells of Inglewood. It is unclear what the motive was, but police officials believe that the suspect had recently discovered the transgender woman was a male, which may have played a role in the crime.
The transgender woman’s last words to 911 dispatch also played a key role in locating the suspect as well as ‘silent witnesses’ such as DNA, according to Detective Chris Barling.
He went on to say the following.
“Mr. Spells, at some point, realized Sanchez was a transgender person and that played a factor in the killing. That’s my opinion. In this case, it is not clear cut. I think hate was used by Mr. Spells in killing Deshawnda.”
Although California police captured the suspect in the case of the murdered transgender woman, Diana Williams, Sanchez’ sister, still fears the case will go unsolved.
She said, “It’s not complete until we go to court and I see for myself.”
Spells is also a suspect in a sexual assault case of an 11-year-old girl who he allegedly forced into prostitution.
He is currently being held without bond.
[Image via Facebook]