Transgender woman is fatally shot on skid row: 'Everybody loved her'

A transgender woman was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon on skid row, and the alleged gunman was taken into police custody, authorities said.

The shooting occurred shortly before 2 p.m. in the 500 block of South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles Police Officer Tony Im said.

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The alleged gunman, possibly embroiled in a domestic dispute with the woman, approached her and opened fire, Im said.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anita U. Nelson, Chief Executive of SRO Housing Corp., identified the victim as Kourtney Yochum, a resident of Gateways Apartments, a 107-unit permanent supportive housing project for formerly chronically homeless individuals. Police could not confirm the victim's name.

Nelson said Yochum was walking her two dogs when a gunman approached and shot her in the head.

“It is mind-boggling; it happened out in the open,” Nelson said. “I’m heartbroken. Our residents are traumatized, our staff is traumatized. Everybody loved her. She was very popular.”

A security guard took the suspect into custody until police arrived, Im said.

The suspect was described as a man in his 20s. His identity will be released after he's booked by police, Im said.

A gun was recovered at the scene.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

Times staff writer Gale Holland contributed to this report.


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6:23 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Anita U. Nelson and the identity of the shooting victim.

This story was originally published at 4:07 p.m.