A transgender man says he was attacked with a pellet gun while traveling along the sidewalk in his wheelchair in Pontiac, Michigan.
Andrew Blake-Newton, 30, said he was shot five times Saturday from a car full of people who were mocking him and yelling anti-transgender slurs.
“They drove away shouting ‘t****y f****t’ at me while they laughed,” Blake-Newton wrote on Facebook.
“No one should have to go through this,” Blake-Newton, who has multiple sclerosis, told NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit. “No one.”
The incident occurred just after midnight while Blake-Newton was traveling from his home to the local gas station to buy a snack, he said.
Blake-Newton told WDIV-TV that the people who shot him were in a small tan sedan and laughed at him as they drove away.
“It is reprehensible that someone would do such a cowardly and despicable thing to an individual in a wheelchair, and they need to be held accountable,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Bouchard said a reward of $1,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
In a video interview with WDIV, Blake-Newton showed what appeared to be pellet-gun marks on multiple parts of his body, including his legs.
“It was so bad I was leaking fluid, and puddles of fluid were around my legs at the hospital,” he said. “Since this happened, I can’t get comfortable. I have barely been able to sleep due to the pain.”
“I’m glad he’s still with me,” Blake-Newton’s husband, Gareth Newton, told WDIV-TV. “I would have been heartbroken if I’d lost him.”
So far this year, the Human Rights Campaign, which tracks fatal violence against the transgender community, has reported the deaths of at least 14 trans and gender-nonconforming people due to violence, 12 of them trans people of color.