Last week, 27-year-old Caelee Love-Light was found dead at the scene of a car incident in Phoenix, Arizona. The Latina transwoman succumbed to gunshot injuries she sustained while involved in some sort of altercation with the male occupant of the car. He was stabbed several times and later died of his injuries at a nearby hospital.
Officers had responded to the area of 23rd Avenue and Baseline Road early Saturday morning at around 3:25 a.m. to an “unknown trouble call”, according to the original statement.
Upon arrival, officers were directed to a car where they found a man with serious injuries as well as an unresponsive woman inside.
The woman, now identified as 27-year-old Caelee Lovelight, was pronounced dead at the scene. The man, now identified as 47-year-old Javin Casillias, was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Detectives believe that Lovelight and Casillias were in a physical altercation with each other where Lovelight was shot and Casillias was stabbed, according to a police statement.
Sadly, mainstream media has focused on the “gun and knife battle” element of the story rather than the lives of the people who died. We don’t know what happened in that car, but given what we know generally and what I’ve learned from Caelee’s friends, it is likely that she was defending herself. It is certainly a possibility, but I guess the headline is too seductive when reporting on yet another seeming interpersonal violence incident. We don’t know why they were in the car together, the nature of their association, or who did what. If there is any evidence from inside the car like a dash cam or footage on a cell phone, that’s not been made public. Will there even be an investigation?
According to her friends, Caelee was born on May 17, 1995 in Texas. Her father was of Mexican descent and her mother was white. Caelee identified as Latina. She relocated to Portland where she legally changed her name and gender markers with the financial support of friends who understood how vital that process was to her welfare. It is unclear when she relocated again to Phoenix, Arizona. Her friends do not believe her remaining biological family will acknowledge her identity; her parents are both deceased, they report. So…