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Three Washington D.C.-based residents are hospitalized this week after what has been deemed a "spate of LGBT violence" in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.
As the Washington Blade is reporting, one gay man was shot in an International House Of Pancakes (IHOP) franchise in Columbia Heights on March 11, while another gay man and a transgender woman were badly beaten on the street the following day in separate incidents during a period of just over 24 hours. Police have listed the attacks against the two gay men as anti-gay hate crimes.
Although the attack against the transgender woman is not currently listed as an anti-trans hate crime, the Blade cites a police report indicating that officials are looking into the possibility that it may have been one. At present, the gay male victims remained hospitalized this week, with one being treated for a bullet wound to his liver and the other awaiting surgery Wednesday afternoon to repair a broken jaw. The transgender woman was treated and released for a head injury after being knocked unconscious, according to the Blade.
"It blows my mind that people can be so violent for no reason," the partner of one of the gay victims, who asked his name not be released, told NBC Washington. Still, he added, "we realize that he could have been hit with a baseball bat, or stabbed or shot or something like that, so even though his injuries are serious, they're not life-threatening."
UPDATE: Mayor Vincent C. Gray released a statement denouncing the attacks:
"All crime is horrific and destructive to the fabric of our community, but especially violent behavior that targets people because of their ethnic background, sexual orientation, faith or other identifying characteristics. These kinds of crimes are particularly insidious, because they are designed to instill fear in an entire community. This cannot and will not stand in the District of Columbia, where all of our residents have the right to walk the streets of our neighborhoods free of fear, regardless of their identities, beliefs or characteristics. The Metropolitan Police Department and I will not rest until the perpetrators of these brutal crimes are arrested, tried and safely locked away."
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