San Antonio Transgender woman Helle Jae O’Regan was murdered Wednesday at the Diesel Barbershop on Bandera Oaks where she worked.
Including O’Regan there have been at least 10 transgender people murdered in the United States since January 1st. Helle Jae O’Regan’s murder shocked our community with its religious hatred underpinnings which can be directly attributed to local evangelical and fundamentalist Baptist anti-LGBT teachings.
Shayne from the Diesel Barbershop 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.”
KSAT 12 reported that the Bexar County Medical Examiner identified the victim as 20-year Helle Jae O’Regan.
Luke Tyler and Harvest Barry stopped by the barbershop where O’Regan was killed to add flowers to the growing memorial. They say she was a beautiful human and kind to everyone she met.
“Every time I saw her, she smiled. She’d do anything for you,” Tyler said. “She was a caring person. I never saw her in a bad mood.”
“If he had just met her, I’m sure he wished he could take it all back. It’s just sick,” Tyler said about the murder suspect.
O’Regan’s friends say Campbell unfairly took a great human away from this world.
“Being trans is so hard, and her life was hard, but she lived like it was the best day of her life every day,” Tyler said.
San Antonio police said despite the religious rhetoric they haven’t seen anything to indicate this was a hate crime.
R.I.P Helle Jae O’Regan