Candlelight vigil remembers transgender homicide victim

Candlelight vigil remembers transgender homicide victim
Source: KLTV Staff- Candlelight vigil for Ty Underwood.
Source: KLTV Staff- Candlelight vigil for Ty Underwood.
Source: KLTV Staff- Approximately 100 people gathered for the candlelight vigil for Ty Underwood.
Source: KLTV Staff- Approximately 100 people gathered for the candlelight vigil for Ty Underwood.
Source: KLTV Staff - Sheila Morgan, Ty Underwood's co-worker
Source: KLTV Staff - Sheila Morgan, Ty Underwood's co-worker
Source: KLTV Staff - Karen Wilkerson, Project TAG chair
Source: KLTV Staff - Karen Wilkerson, Project TAG chair

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Approximately 100 people gathered at Bergfeld Park for a candlelight vigil in memory of Tyrone Underwood, who was shot and killed last week.

The 24-year old transgender woman's body was discovered on January 26 in a vehicle at the 400 block of W. 24th Street  in the early hours of the morning.  That vehicle was found crashed into a telephone pole and a nearby resident said that her children heard gunshots.  When emergency response arrived, Underwood was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tyler police have not made any arrests or named any suspects in connection with the homicide and the case remains an open investigation.

Representatives from organizations and and churches across Texas were present at the sunset vigil to show their support for Underwood's family.

Sheila Morgan, who worked with Underwood at a nursing home facility, said that the Lufkin native was going to school to be a nurse.

"She kept the whole place alive with her personality. She was bold, took risks, and lived her life," said Morgan.  "This was so shocking because nobody believed she had an enemy."

Many organizations across East Texas contributed to the planning of the vigil including Project TAG (Tyler Area Gays).

Project TAG chair, Karen Wilkerson, said the vigil was designed to bring together the LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Questioning) community and to encourage justice on behalf of Underwood.

"Transgender women of color seem to have the highest incidents of discrimination, violent acts, and deaths." said Wilkerson.

"I'd hope that the message people take from this is that Tyler is aware of the risks and supportive of transgender persons and the LGBTQ  community in general."

Copyright 2015 KLTV. All rights reserved.