(WSVN) - A recent South Florida college graduate was shot and killed in broad daylight. Now a family wants the world to know how their loved one lived and tragically died. Karen Hensel has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Her name was Royal Poetical Starz, and she was an aspiring singer.
But the 26-year-old’s voice was silenced on Oct. 2nd, just before 11:30 on a Saturday morning.
Royal was sitting in a Hummer SUV on Northwest 185th Street in Miami Gardens when someone opened fire.
The SUV has a bullet hole in the driver’s door, and the window glass is shattered.
Her brother and sister are shattered, too. They spoke with 7News from the family’s home in Nebraska.
Jay Donald, victim’s sister: “It is just still so unreal.”
Rodney Hall, victim’s brother: “I believe it was extreme circumstances and definitely vengeful, and somebody wanted to make a point, obviously.”
Royal was assigned male at birth. She transitioned in 2020.
Speaker at funeral: “His final accomplishment was becoming his true self, in his heart, that he always wanted to be.”
With her transition recent, some friends and family still refer to Royal as he.
Rodney Hall: “We all knew. You know, he had nothing to be ashamed of, and I wish he knew that like a lot earlier on.”
Speaker at graduation: “Everybody, Royal Starz!”
Royal was known for being generous.
Jay Donald: “He was just such a giver. You know, like, he would meet people, and he would just give, give, give.”
A giver who had her life suddenly taken.
Her brother says a doctor told the family she was shot 7 to 12 times from a close distance.
Rodney Hall: “He told us it was two shots in the head, and the rest was all over his body. The detective also told me there was also a struggle inside of the vehicle, so I believe something happened inside the vehicle.”
Jay Donald/Victim’s Sister: “I had to do my brother’s hair and makeup for the funeral. I did see bullet holes in his chest. I had to put gloves on his hands because he had a bullet hole in his hand, so it’s just very traumatic.”
Miami Gardens Police have released very little about what happened here, saying they have an open investigation. They did put out a flyer urging anyone with information about what happened to call police or Crime Stoppers.
Jay Donald: “It just doesn’t make sense, nothing makes sense. I just feel like it was somebody he knew, and if you know that person, you just need to just come forward.”
The death has hit hard in the transgender community.
Equality Florida tweeted: “We’re heartbroken about the murder of Royal Poetical Starz, a 26-year old Black transgender woman, who was brutally killed in Miami Gardens on Oct. 2. Friends remember Royal as a singer, ‘life of the party,” who had just celebrated a graduation with a business degree in July.”
Rodney Hall: “He really didn’t let anything stand in the way of his passion for art and music.”
Jay Donald: “He just likes to sing all the time. He’s very loving.”
From halfway across the country, Royal’s siblings still have so many questions about this daytime nightmare — on a South Florida street.
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Miami Gardens Police
Homicide Detective M. Lissade
Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers:
CrimeStoppers305.com and select “Submit a Tip”
http://www.facebook.com/crimestoppers305 – “Contact Us”
App Store – Get P3 and sign into Miami for Tips
If the tip leads to an arrest, the tipster may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000. All Crime Stoppers calls are kept strictly anonymous.
To help Royal’s family, click here.
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