On Saturday evening, four days after her 30th birthday, Noony Norwood was shot in Richmond, Virginia, and died in the hospital the following morning, according to WLBT.
Richmond police are currently investigating Norwood's death.
Zakia McKensey, founder of Richmond-based health and wellness advocacy group Nationz Foundation, said she considered Norwood family and that she guided Norwood through her journey as a transgender woman.
"A lot of people just think we're street walkers and we don't have the same aspirations and goals as everybody else, and that's not the case," McKensey said. She also said Norwood was living as her "authentic self."
"We have lost yet another beloved member of our community to violence," Stacie Vecchietti, director of the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, said in a statement. "This is a deeply painful and personal loss for many. It is also a reflection of the painful realities of transphobia, homophobia, biphobia and racism that permeate our everyday environments and relationships and results in LGBTQ+ individuals of color being disproportionately impacted by violence."
Friends of Norwood have already begun to leave messages of love and memories on her Facebook page.
"You were the only person in the world who understood me," one friend wrote. "Now you are another angel watching over me. I hear you in my sleep and see you in my dreams. I love you baby."
Just below the condolences are lists of friends wishing Norwood a happy birthday on Nov. 1.
"Noony Norwood's death is a heartbreaking milestone for our communities," Shelby Chestnut, director of community organizing and public advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said in a statement. "She is the 23rd transgender or gender non-conforming homicide victim that we know of in 2016, exceeding last year's 22 lives lost."
Chestnut added, "It is on all of us to address this crisis of violence affecting transgender and gender nonconforming people in this country, and the transphobia, misogyny and racism that is at the root of this violence."