Orlando Perez, 18, allegedly shot a woman after discovering she was trans. (Chicago police)
An 18-year-old male teen returned to the house of a trans woman for the third time that night. He opened the door to her lifeless body and shot her.
The horrifying incident saw Orlando Perez allegedly murder Selena Reyes-Hernandez, 37, after finding out she is trans after going to her residency in Chicago, Illinois.
Cook County prosecutors, according to the Chicago Sun Times, said that the pair went to Reyes-Hernandez’s home in the early morning of May 31 only to leave and return twice more to shoot her.
The incident touches off a slanted culture still stalled by the “trans panic defence“. The legal tact, though vastly diminished in use, saw defendants horrifically argue that, upon learning a victim was trans, they suffered temporary insanity that spurred a violent outburst.
What happened to trans woman Selena Reyes-Hernandez?
At around 5.30am, Perez was invited into Reyes-Hernandez’s home, according to surveillance footage. Detectives said they lived several blocks away from one another and appeared not to know each other before the incident.
Inside, he asked whether she was a woman, and she replied saying she is trans. Perez reacted by saying he wanted to leave, he said during a video statement to police.
Moreover, during this time, Reyes-Hernandez videoed Perez insider her home on her mobile. She filmed herself using the front-facing camera for a moment before switching it to the rear.
It showed Perez in the bathroom washing his hands.
Security cameras showed that, at around 5.50am, Perez left the victim’s house. He then returned at 6am with a dark face covering and was armed – he racked the slide of a handgun as he walked back in.
He alleged that he found Reyes-Hernandez’s door wide open after hopping the fence and shooting her in the head and back.
“He thought that was enough so he ran out,” assistant state’s attorney James Murphy said during Perez’s bond hearing, “but he kept seeing her face, so he went back there to do it again.”
After coming back yet again to the property for the third time, Perez fired bullets at Reyes-Hernandez’s body several times, prosecutors said, while she laid face down on the floor
A witness said they heard loud noises and later discovered the victim’s body later that morning.
Authorities later found the same type of bullets used in the murder in a weapon found in Perez’s home.
The killer smiled as he told the court his statement.
During his court appearance Tuesday (June 16), Perez lowered his face mask and smiled several times as he attempted to give a statement.
He was warned not to speak by his assistant public defender.
Judge Arthur Willis ordered Perez be held by authorities without bail and set his next court date for July 6.