Kansas City police say they still cannot say if the murder of a transgender woman was a hate crime.
Tamara Dominguez, 36, was hit by a truck early Saturday morning, then driven over by that truck again and again.
Though police can't confirm Dominguez' murder was a hate crime, members of the Kansas City transgender community told us they are often fearful and the hate is real.
"There's this horrible dark underbelly of hatred that goes on and on and on and on and it must stop," said Caroline Gibbs with the Transgender Institute of Kansas City.
Gibbs is the institute's founder and director. She says people are often misinformed.
"They don't understand transgender for starters. They don't understand that it is a medical condition that one is born with," Gibbs commented.
"It was an atrocious act," said Chloe Hudson, a transgender woman herself. "You got be safe. If you are open and out about it, make sure you are with a good close group of friends because it's a dangerous world we live, especially if you are transgender."
Dominguez's family says police found her car near Independence Avenue. They still say they don't know why she was in that area or whom she may have been with in the truck.
On Monday, KCTV5 spoke with friends and family. One friend, Juan Rendon, said it is hard to believe Dominguez is gone.
"I was like, 'They are playing. They are joking.' Because she liked to play like that," Rendon said.
However, this was no joke. Dominguez was killed in a brutal act of violence about 3 a.m. Saturday.
Witnesses say they saw a black Chevy Avalanche at the scene.
Police say the driver initially hit Dominguez, then ran over her body at least two more times.
"We understand that maybe they were arguing, but it's not fair for what he did. It ain't fair," Rendon said.
Rendon also spoke for Dominguez's brother, Alberto, who delivered a powerful message to the driver in Spanish.
"He just want to say to the person that did that to her, that he (Alberto) would forgive them for what he did to her," Dominguez said through translation as he started to cry. "We are not here to judge nobody, and he (Alberto) hopes that person really feels bad for what he did."
Family members are certain of one thing - she was loved.
"He doesn't know she has family. She had her mom. She had her nephews, brothers, and sisters. That person didn't think about what he did," Rendon said.
Family members are trying to raise money for Dominguez's funeral service and also send her body to her family in Mexico. Click here to donate.
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