Police in North Charleston, S.C., have arrested a suspect in the murder of transgender woman Denali Berries Stuckey.
Dominick Archield, 34, is accused of fatally shooting Stuckey, 29, whose body was found on a roadside in North Charleston July 20, The Post and Courier of Charleston reports. He turned himself in Sunday.
Police have not called Stuckey’s murder a hate crime so far. “However, if the continuing investigation reveals that the suspect’s motive accumulates to a hate crime, then the appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the case is prosecuted as such,” North Charleston Deputy Police Chief Scott Deckard told the paper. South Carolina has no hate-crimes law, let alone one inclusive of gender identity, but the case could be prosecuted as a hate crime under federal law.
Stuckey, 29, was a Charleston native and worked as a manicurist. She is one of four transgender women murdered in South Carolina in the past year. Pebbles LaDime Doe was found dead in a car in Allendale County, S.C., less than a month after Stuckey’s death. Police are still seeking suspects in Doe’s death; anyone with information is asked to call (888) CRIME-SC.
Fifteen transgender Americans are known to have been murdered in the U.S. this year, and all but one have been Black women. This amounts to a crisis, Chase Glenn, executive director of the Alliance for Full Acceptance, told The Post and Courier. “We are sounding the alarm,” Glenn said. “We are in an absolute state of emergency for Black transgender women.”