DETROIT – Police have arrested a man in connection with the shooting of a transgender woman at a gas station on the city's west side, Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced Saturday.
The shooting happened around 8 p.m. Monday at the Mobil gas station at Seven Mile and Greenfield roads. Security video captured a struggle before the woman was shot.
Deonton A. Rogers, 29, is accused of approaching the woman and making a crude remark inside the gas station. When the woman told her she is transgender, they got into an argument about sexual orientation, police said.
Rogers is accused of pulling out a gun during the argument. The woman struggled with him over the weapon, and she was shot in the shoulder.
Rogers fled the gas station in his SUV, leaving his 27-year-old companion at the station. Her child was in the back seat, police said.
The child was later found unharmed, police said.
Rogers is charged with discharging a firearm causing serious injury, felonious assault, felon in possession of a firearm, fourth-degree child abuse, ethnic intimidation based on gender and a felony firearms violation.
He was arraigned just after noon Saturday. The judge entered a non guilty plea on his behalf. He is being held on $2 million bail.
A probable cause conference is scheduled for Aug. 3, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Aug. 10.
The victim is 29 years old and transgender, according to authorities. She was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to be OK.
"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 were searching for Rogers' companion as a person of interest, but after speaking to her, they determined she wasn't involved in the shooting.
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."