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S.C. gender-variant teen killed
News receives little regional, national attention

compiled by Q-Notes staff

Adolphus Simmons, 18, was shot outside his apartment on Jan. 21.
N. CHARLESTON, S.C. — News that a gender non-conforming teenager was shot down here more than a month ago has been slow to reach regional and national LGBT media organizations.

Adolphus Simmons, 18, was shot at the Bradford Apartments complex by a 15-year-old boy on Jan. 21. Police arrested and charged the suspect on Jan. 24. Another juvenile was arrested and charged later. The names of the suspects are not being released by authorities.

Jackquez Witherspoon, 19, was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact of murder, for giving a false report to police and hindering the investigation.

Simmons dressed as a woman and was a freelance hair stylist, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. Family and friends described him as lighthearted and jovial.

Public information officer Spencer Pryor has said police are not releasing a motive for the killing and that there is no evidence the act was a hate crime.

About two weeks prior to Simmons’ murder, a group of people broke into his apartment and stole some items. Simmons’ mother, Felicia Moultrie, told The Post and Courier that the thieves “were looking for him.” It is not clear if the break-in and robbery have any connection to Simmons’ death.

The Feb. 13 California classroom shooting of openly gay and gender-variant Lawrence King has spurred coverage of anti-gay and anti-trans violence across the country, but news of Simmons’ murder has only recently begun to receive attention. Q-Notes learned of the killing at the end of February.

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