Man Indicted For the Murder of Trans Woman Helle Jae O’Regan

Trigger Warning. Deadnaming.

Damion Terrell Campbell, 42 was taken into custody in May for the murder of San Antonio transgender woman Helle Jae O’Regan. Campbell was indicted Friday by a Bexar County grand jury on charges of murder and two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, a witness told officers that a man matching Campbell’s description walked into the Diesel Barbershop Bandera Oaks on Bandera Road near Loop 1604 at first trying to make an appointment. That’s when, police say, Campbell returned a few seconds later, with a backpack, gun and knife.

Damion Terrell Campbell

Damion Terrell Campbell (Photo: Bexar County Sheriff’s Office)

Charges against Damion Terrell Campbell do not include a hate crime enhancement.

The murder of Helle Jae O’Regan’s murder shocked the transgender community with its religious hatred underpinnings which can be attributed to local evangelical and fundamentalist Baptist anti-LGBT teachings. Religious organizations are being protected by the Trump administration, conversely, murders due to religious indoctrination must be prosecuted as hate crimes.

Helle Jae O’Regan

Shayne, the manager at the Diesel Barbershop where she worked posted on Facebook about what happened.

“3 Diesel Barbershop employees were at Bandera Oaks the morning of May 6th answering phones to book appointments and deep cleaning the shop for our re-opening on May 8th. An individual came to the front door (which was locked) and attempted to enter. We unlocked and opened the door to let him know we were closed and getting the shop ready to reopen on Friday.”

“The man then asked about making an appointment for when we reopen. As we would have likely done for any of our clients, we let the man in to the shop to book his appointment. We gathered the necessary information but when it came time to secure his appointment by placing a credit card on file, he said he needed to step outside to grab a form of payment.”

“When the man stepped back into the shop, the staff realized that along with the backpack he was now carrying, he also had a handgun and a knife.”

“Attempts were made to give the man whatever he wanted…cash, equipment, or whatever it took to get him out of the shop. The man made it clear that he wasn’t there for money. He then began asking the employees: “What have you done wrong? What have you done wrong? God sent me here to kill you because you have done something wrong! What have you done wrong?” over and over again while forcing them to the back of the shop.”

“Details beyond this are sketchy at best. In the end, one employee managed to escape and call 911. One employee was stabbed 5 times in the back, but she also managed to escape. Tragically, one employee lost their life in this senseless act of violence. Even as I type it, I still cannot believe it. It’s a nightmare of the most epic proportions.”

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