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Gay Couple’s Anniversary Ends in Tragedy Stray bullet kills man walking his dog in early morning hours BY MATT TRACY


gay man who just finished celebrating his anniversary with his husband was walking his dog in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan early in the morning on June 10 when he was shot and killed by a rifle-wielding man who was trying to shoot somebody else. Winston McKay, 40, was shot in the leg in front of 501 West 146th Street near Amsterdam Avenue shortly after 2 a.m. before he was transported by EMS to Harlem Hospital, where he died, according to the NYPD. Cops said the tragedy unfolded when the shooter, who is still on the loose, pointed his weapon at an unidentified 26-year-old man and threatened to shoot him. The 26-year-old started to walk away, prompting the shooter to fire at him, but he missed — and instead hit McKay, striking an artery in his leg. Video surveillance footage provided by the NYPD shows the shooter aiming his gun at the scene of the incident. McKay’s husband, Terry Solomon, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on June 13. Solomon told the Daily News that he and his husband had invited friends and loved ones to their anniversary celebration at Donnellan Square, a park across from where they lived together. They spent $2,000 on a feast that featured chicken, fish, peas and rice, corn, and strawberry shortcake, according to

➤ LAYLEEN POLANCO, from p.6 die while in government custody. “As we gather to mourn this tremendous loss, we are left shocked and outraged by the stony silence from the Department of Correction, mayor’s office, NYPD, and city government,” the family stated. “Just days ago, Mayor de Blasio dedicated a monument to two pioneering transgender activists, telling the trans community that ‘we are sending a clear message: We see you... and we will protect you.’ The city failed to protect Layleen, and now it is trying to sweep her death under the rug. We will not allow it.” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who in the past several years has made it a point to highlight the marginalization of transgender women of color, is calling for immediate action. “I’m extremely saddened by the death of Layleen, and I offer my prayers for peace and comfort to her friends and family,” Williams told Gay City News in a written statement on June 11. “Layleen is not the first transgender woman to lose her life in the walls of prison, and if we



Surveillance video released by the NYPD of the man who fatally shot Winston McKay pointing his rifle at his intended victim, a 26-year-old man who was not identified. NYPD

the Daily News. Solomon quickly hurried to the scene after receiving a phone call, and according to reports cops initially were skeptical that he was McKay’s husband. By the time he arrived, an ambulance had already taken off with McKay’s body. Solomon waited for hours at the hospital to see his husband’s body, but authorities would not allow it due to the criminal investigation. The couple met nearly two decades ago when they made eye contact in a subway station. McKay turned around to follow Solomon onto the train and their relationship blossomed from

do nothing, she will not be the last. I stand with Layleen’s friends and family in demanding answers, and I will continue to use my position as public advocate to upend a system that could allow this woman — confined in solitary — to lose her life, alone.” Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, said in a tweet on June 10 that Polanco’s family deserves to know what happened to her. “I have met with trans constituents who were put in Rikers,” she wrote. “These women told me about being misgendered upon arrest (even post-surgery) and forced in cells with men, putting them in extreme risk. It’s hard to get treatments, too. Layleen’s family deserves to know what happened to her.” The Legal Aid Society, which provides legal assistance to those who are living in poverty and represented Polanco, released a statement calling for a full probe into the circumstances surrounding her death. “Ms. Polanco’s passing is a tragic reminder of the heightened risk and physical and emo-

The man pictured, identified as Eric Bautista, allegedly gunned down a gay man who had just finished celebrating his anniversary.

there. Cops say an investigation is ongoing and authorities are continuing to search for the killer. The suspect, identified as Eric Bautista, 20, is described as a male with braids, roughly 5’8” to 5’10”, and was last seen wearing a red hoodie, a blue jacket, gray sweatpants, and black and white sneakers. Anyone with information about this crime or this suspect is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers line at 800-577-TIPS.

tional torture that transgender people — especially those from communities of color — face in the criminal legal system, particularly while in custody,” the organization said in a written statement. “Her heartbreaking and untimely death warrants a swift, complete, independent, and transparent investigation from the City. We join New Yorkers in demanding justice for Ms. Polanco, her family, and for her community.” Hundreds of people gathered in Foley Square downtown on June 10 to call for justice at a rally led by trans women of color, including “Pose” star Indya Moore. Ten trans women spoke along with members of Polanco’s family. Polanco, whose Facebook page states she was from Yonkers but lived in New York City, was a member of the local ballroom scene, according to Moore, who said they both were members of the house of Xtravaganza. “I grew up looking to Layleen as my goal,” Moore said in a tweet on June 8. “She was one of the most beautiful women I ever seen who was trans. She and so many other girls were an example to me.” June 20 - June 26, 2019 |

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Gay City News - June 20, 2019  

June 20, 2019

Gay City News - June 20, 2019  

June 20, 2019