July 1, 1994
October 15, 2015
Age at Death:
Zella Ziona was a transgender woman from Montgomery, Maryland. She was known for helping fellow trans women on their journeys to becoming who they wanted to be. Although not much is known about her life, Zella was loved by her friends and is remembered as a beacon of support.
On October 15, 2015, Zella Ziona was on the way to her grandmother's grave to drop off flowers when she was shot by a man she had known since middle school. After an argument in a shopping mall parking lot, the man pulled out a gun and shot her in the head and body. Her mother witnessed the murder and caught it all on video.
Was justice served?
Justice has been served for Zella Ziona. Her murderer was finally sentenced to 35 years in prison in September 2020 after a trial in January 2017 ended with a hung jury and a second trial that year ended in a guilty verdict but later a mistrial. Zella's death served as a martyr, with many posts on social media tagged with "#StopKillingTransWomenOfColor" and "#BlackTransLivesMatter."