The Brookhaven police are looking for a possible suspect in the murder of Sophie Arrieta Vasquez, a trans woman whose death inspired a vigil and a public outcry for justice. 

On May 4, BPD officers responded to reports of a shooting at the Atlantic Brookhaven Apartments at 100 Windmont Drive. Vasquez was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in the doorway of her apartment, and was later pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to a press release, BPD has charged 18-year-old Pedro Silva-Renteria of Norcross with murder. Silva-Renteria was charged on May 11, but he is not yet in custody. Silva-Renteria is described by the BPD as about 5-feet-10-inches tall and 180 pounds. 

A photo of the suspect, Pedro Silva-Renteria.

On May 12, the transgender and immigrant rights group Community EsTr(El/La) held a vigil for Vasquez. Executive Director Li Ann “Estrella” Sánchez talked about discrimination that trans people face, and how that can lead to violence against them.

“We are not here to victimize ourselves,” she said during the vigil. “We just want you all to accompany us and this movement, and actually be in solidarity with us. We could be your neighbors, your family members, your aunts, your sisters, your mothers, chosen or not. We could be your family.”

BPD spokesperson Lt. David Snively said investigators believe they know Silva-Renteria’s motive for the murder, but they do not believe it was motivated by Vasquez’s gender. He he declined to say how Silva-Renteria was identified as a suspect. 

“It would not be appropriate for us to share more specific details until we confirm our understanding of the facts in this case by speaking with the suspect directly,” Snively said in an email. “Similarly, it is not appropriate to release the specific facts that led to the suspect’s identity, as those must be preserved for criminal proceedings.”

The BPD is asking anyone with information about this case to call 404-637-0600. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling 404-577-8477.

This information is based on press releases from the BPD and does not include all the information BPD might have. Anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty, and details may change as the investigation continues. 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.