A community in Texas is grieving after they say 24-year-old Akira Ross was fatally killed by a white stranger shouting gay slurs at her.
The shooting happened on June 2, around 9:50 p.m., at a Circle K in Cedar Park, a suburb of Austin, where Ross and her girlfriend, Tanya, had stopped for gas. Tanya told investigators that a man yelled gay slurs at her girlfriend, Ross, as they walked into the Circle K gas station. When they came back out and Ross was pumping gas, the man identified as 23-year-old Bradley Stanford, a white man, continued to hara*s her.
Tanya said Stanford “suddenly opened fire”, killing Ross and then drove off.
Ross’s father, Anthony Hill called his daughter’s murder a hate crime.
It was a hate crime, Hill said. He was calling my daughter ‘gay girl,’ ‘dyke girl’-that’s hate, anyway you look at it.
Two days later, Texas police arrested Stanford 200 miles away near Corpus Christi. Stanford is charged with first-degree murder and held on a $1 million bond. Authorities have not said whether they consider the shooting hate.
A spokesperson for Cedar Creek police say the investigation remains ongoing.
The day before Ross was killed, the second day of Pride month, Ross and Tanya purchased a car from a dealership planned to be picked up June 3rd.
Hill said he is proud that his daughter was open about her sexuality.