While Lynchburg police confirmed the victim of a deadly shooting Monday was a transgender man, a spokesperson said police do not have information to indicate the incident was a hate crime.
Officers responded to the parking lot outside the Family Dollar on Fort Avenue at about 6 p.m. Monday for reports of a malicious wounding, LPD previously said in a news release.
There, they found a person the police department identified as 23-year-old Erica Jade Boykin, of Lynchburg, suffering from a gunshot wound. Boykin was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital for treatment of serious injuries and died soon after.
LPD spokesperson Carrie Dungan said police are investigating to see whether the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute. A child was at the scene of the shooting and is fine, she said, but didn’t provide further details.
Having spoken with Boykin’s family, Dungan said the police department used male pronouns for Boykin at the family’s direction. She said the department is aware Boykin identified as a man and isn’t aware of Boykin going by a different name.
Torri Chippe said she’s been friends with Boykin, who’s been called “Novaa” or “EJ” by friends, since middle school.
“He was loved and like[d] by everyone,” she said in a message. “He was one of those people that was just good vibes and energy.”
The department does not have a suspect in custody, Dungan said, and is asking anyone who may have been in the area around that time to call (434) 455-6160 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900.
She said the department doesn’t have reason to believe the community is in immediate danger following the shooting.
The shooting marks Lynchburg’s seventh homicide in 2021. That’s compared to four homicides in 2020 and is on track to surpass the eight homicides the city saw in 2018, the highest Dungan said that statistic has been for several years.