A 19-year-old Detroit man has been convicted of murdering two gay men and a transgender woman at a house party last year.
Devon Kareem Robinson was convicted Tuesday of first-degree premeditated murder, assault with intent to murder, and felony firearm use, The Detroit News reports.
The victims were gay men Alunte Davis, 21, Timothy Blanchard, 20, and trans woman Paris Cameron, 20.
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They were shot to death last May at a party in a home on Detroit’s east side. Robinson allegedly shot two other people at the party but they survived.
Clifton Keys, a friend of the victims in his testimony during a pretrial examination in November, said a lot of bullets were fired to the extent that blood seeped through the walls of the house.
Authorities believe that the three killed were targeted because of their sexual orientation.
A statement released after the killings by Human Rights Campaign National Press Secretary Sarah McBride said it was “horrifying and heartbreaking” that the three victims killed were targeted because they were LGBTQ.
“The epidemic of hate violence that targets people of color and LGBTQ people, particularly Black trans people, is an urgent crisis. Our policymakers and leaders must do more to ensure the safety and dignity of every person in our country,” the statement added.
Hate crimes against LGBTQ people in the U.S. have been rising over the past three years, according to FBI data.
According to USA Today, most hate crimes in the U.S. are usually motivated by bias toward race and religion, however, crimes based on sexual orientation rose each year from 2014 to 2017, when 1,130 incidents were reported. Of those crimes, a majority targeted gay men.
Robinson was convicted in a jury trial in Wayne County Circuit Court. He could be given a life sentence without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on April 13.