Police charge man with murdering transgender woman, activist in North Philly

Kristen Johanson
May 21, 2019 - 5:41 pm

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Authorities have charged a man with murder after they say he shot and killed a transgender woman in North Philadelphia.  

Detectives say 28-year-old Troy Bailey came into police headquarters and told them he witnessed the shooting of Michelle Washington, a 40-year transgender activist in the city.

“She was shot twice. Once in the torso and one in the head,” explained Homicide Captain Jason Smith.

He says the shooting took place Sunday at 11th and Ontario Streets. 

Smith says they talked to him more, and the evidence started to point at Bailey.

“The truth as to why Mr. Bailey murdered Ms. Washington may never be known,” he said. “According to Mr. Bailey it was over the sale of a firearm.”

The two are seen on surveillance video together out on the street before the shooting.

“We recovered a firearm, a 9mm Taurus, from the defendant’s girlfriend’s residence,” he said. “We believe that to be the murder weapon, however, it has to be taken down to our firearms identification unit and processed, test-fired. The ballistics from that is going to have to be compared to the 9mm Fire cartridge casings recovered at the scene.”

Bailey has a lengthy criminal record, including a series of charges that include aggravated assault and strangulation. Those charges would later be dropped by prosecutors last year, two months after he was arrested.

Prosecutors say they dropped the charges because the victim in the case did not show up.

Bailey has been arraigned and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for early June. 

No hate charges have been filed.

“Michelle Washington was a person and she did not deserve to die in this matter,” Smith added.