DETROIT – Detroit police are searching for a man who shot a transgender woman at a gas station on the city's west side.
The shooting happened around 8 p.m. Monday at the Mobil gas station at Seven Mile and Greenfield roads. Security video captured a struggle between the two before the woman was shot.
Police released a picture of the man they believe had the gun and shot the woman. Officials believe the incident began in the parking lot and spilled inside.
The exchange of words quickly led to a gun being drawn and a scuffle. The woman fought with the man and tried to take the gun away but, moments later, the gun went off, striking the woman, police said.
She is 29 years old and transgender, according to authorities.
"Anytime there's a crime, it's tragic," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. "Certainly, this community wants to know: Is it a hate crime? What is it?"
Police aren't sure if the altercation had anything to do with the woman being transgender.
"It's too early to tell, but we'll get more information," Craig said.
Craig was at an LGBT community chat and candlelight vigil Tuesday night at Palmer Park.
Few residents who spoke to Local 4 had heard about the shooting, but they said they wouldn't be surprised if it was a hate crime.
"Especially if it's somewhere in this area, where transgender women are targeted," resident Cierra Burks said. "I'm glad she fought back. I'm glad she's still here."
The woman is expected to be OK.
After the shooting, the man took off in an SUV. You can see a picture of the getaway vehicle below.
The vehicle appears to be a black Ford Explorer, police said.
Anyone who recognizes the man or the vehicle is asked to call the Detroit Police Department at 313-596-2200.