Friends and family of the victim of a homicide in South-Central El Paso say they want justice to be served. Police say 36-year-old Eric Tijerina was found dead on Monday at the Rio Grande Apartments on Lisbon St.
Tijerina’s sister tells NewsChannel her sibling went by ‘Erykah,’ and she identified herself as a trans-woman.
“She was a character. She had her own personality — what you would call ghetto fabulous, very ghetto fabulous,” said Chyna Fierro, one of Erykah’s close friends.
Fierro met Tijerina 16 years ago. She says Erykah was there for her when she decided to transition into a woman. Tijerina’s sister says Erykah identified herself as a female from a very young age.
“She was like yeah, ‘I’m a girl. I’m a trans-girl, and you better respect me no matter what,” adds Fierro.
Fierro says Erykah’s faith kept her strong when she had to go through one of the most painful experiences in her life. “Her mother passed away three years ago, and when a transgender person has a parent that accepts them 100%, that’s your unconditional love.”
Chyna tells NewsChannel 9 her friend was fearless and never hesitated to stand up for herself. “She just wanted to be treated like anybody else.”
Alexander Wright, with Sun City Pride, said “El Paso has really progressed with how they accept the LGBTQ community. It’s flourished.”
But he says there’s still a lot of misconceptions about the trans-community. “The way someone wants to live their life and the way they were born doesn’t really identify with who they truly feel they are.”
Erykah’s friends and family are still trying to grasp she is no longer with them. Chyna says she’s concerned on how police will handle the investigation.
“What I worry about is that they’re not going to pay much attention to it, because she’s a transgendered person. I hope there is justice and the family gets a peace of mind,” adds Fierro.
Police tell NewsChannel 9 the investigation is going. So far, no arrests have been made.
Sun City Pride is hosting a vigil for Erykah on Saturday at The Edge Night Club. Click here for details.
There is a second vigil planned at Carolina Park in the Lower Valley on August 21st at 8pm.
To help Erykah’s family with her funeral expenses, click here.