Rae'Lynn Thomas: Transgender woman shot to death by mom's ex who called her 'devil'
Rae'Lynn Thomas, 28, lived in her Columbus, Ohio home with her mother and her mom's boyfriend, who would often call the transgender woman names.
"Devil" and "Satan" would be hurled about the house by the boyfriend, according to Rae'Lynn's mother, Renee Thomas, who spoke to WBNS-TV.
In an outrageous attack, Renee Thomas said her boyfriend, now her ex, ambushed Rae'Lynn in the home.
“He was in the bedroom and he just came around the corner and shot my son,” she told WBNS. (Renee Thomas, like her boyfriend, referred to Rae'Lynn as a "he". Others in the family reportedly called her as "she.") To make matters worse, the 260-pound boyfriend then began pummeling the 150-pound Rae'Lynn as she cried for him to stop.
“He picked up my heavy scale and wanted to beat him with that. You shot my son. How much more??” Renee told the TV station.
Renee Thomas said as the life slipped away from Rae'Lynn, she mouthed these last words:
"Mom, please please don't leave me. Mom, I'm dying," she said. "Mom, I love you. Tell my sisters and my brother I love them. Tell my family I love them. Mom, I'm dying, I'm dying, please don't leave me."
Renee Thomas is crushed with grief that she was not able to stop attack and wasn't even in the same room when it took place.
“And I feel like I left him. I left him and I couldn’t get up there and my son died by himself,” Renee Thomas told the TV station.
Rae'Lynn's family wants Allen Byrd, 53, to spend the rest of his days behind bars. He is charged with murder and law enforcement officials are looking into the incident as a hate crime.
I want to see him go to jail forever,” Shannon Thomas told the TV station. “He took a light away from all of us that we can’t get back. And he needs to pay. He needs to pay.”
“Life in prison. Spend your life in prison. That’s what you do. I can’t spend my life with my son because you took him from me. I don’t want you to spend your life with your family,” said Renee Thomas.
“Our hearts, minds and condolences are with the family, friends, and community of Rae’Lynn in this time of tragedy,” the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization, said in a statement obtained by several media outlets. “We must continue to come together as a broad community of support to say hate has no home in Ohio, hate has no home anywhere.”
Rae'Lynn's death is at least the 19th of a trans person in the United States this year, according to AutoStraddle.
Just two weeks ago, Dee Whigham, a 25-year-old trans woman from Shubuta, Mississippi was found stabbed to death in a St. Martin motel. A sailor has been charged with her death.