BOYLE HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — An emotional vigil was held Saturday evening for a transgender teen who remains in critical condition in the ICU at County-USC Medical Center following a hit-and-run accident.
KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin attended what friends of the teen were calling a “celebration of life.”
They also called it a ceremony for healing and a call for justice.
Friends and family of 16-year-old Annabel gathered outside the hospital where Annabel is fighting for her life.
“I hope to God that she’s able to pull through and come forth and let us know what really happened,” said the victim’s uncle Fernando Velarde.
Annabel’s uncle says she is in a medically-induced coma following the hit-and-run last Saturday around 2:30 a.m. in Monterey Park.
Police have still not determined if the car hit Annabel on purpose and it’s also possible she was assaulted before the car struck.
For now, the family is concentrating on Annabel’s healing.
In addition to friends and family, dozens of strangers also attended the vigil.
They chanted, “No more murder, no more hate!”
The group was part of the TransLatina Coalition.
“What happened to her, could have happened to me,” said one transgender woman.
“Transphobia is not okay and whether this was intentional or not, we’re still here to show that message,” said Rossmery Zayas.
“We get attacked, simply for who we are,” said Ramby Salcedo.
Even Annabel’s uncle says his eyes have been opened to how giving the community can be.
“To have someone who doesn’t know you come out and show their support, it’s very moving,” said Fernando