On Thursday, February 18, New Wilmington Police responded to a disturbance on South New Castle Street around 11:00 am. Police witnessed Juan Carlos Hernandez, 30, assaulting Chynaa Carrillo, 24, with a blunt object. When Hernandez refused police orders to stop attacking Chynna, officers shot and killed him. Chynaa was rushed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio where she later died of her injuries.
Juan Carlos Hernandez had previously served eight years for the murder of his wife, Kandace Johnston Hernandez.
Chynaa was a young and beautiful trans woman of color originally from Springdale, Arkansas who relocated to New Wilmington, an hour north of Pittsburgh, in April of 2020 to be a certified nurse during the pandemic at a facility there. Chynaa is the first known trans victim of murder in Pennsylvania in 2021 continuing a disturbing trend of violence towards trans women of color across the country.
Pennsylvania still lacks comprehensive nondiscrimination laws and hate crime protections for our most vulnerable populations.