Trans Writer Jasper Aaron Lynch Fatally Shot By Police In The US

Trans Writer Jasper Aaron Lynch Fatally Shot By Police In The US
Image: Jasper Aaron Lynch

On July 7, 2022, 26-year-old transgender writer, Jasper Aaron Lynch was fatally shot four times by police in his home in Mclean, Virginia. Aaron’s parents and LGBTQI advocacy organisations have questioned the use of lethal force by the police. 

Trigger Warning: This story discusses the killing of a trans person by the police, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Aaron’s family called 911 twice that evening as he was suffering a severe mental health crisis. A crisis intervention team and a clinician arrived at the Lynch residence following the first 911 call at about 7 pm. However, the team were unable to locate Aaron.

Following the second call to 911 about an hour and a half later, three responding officers arrived at the household without the presence of a clinician.

In the bodycam footage released from the incident, Aaron is shown holding a wine bottle and a wooden tribal mask and is visibly in a poor mental state. The footage shows Aaron throwing the wooden mask at the officers, prompting them to tase him. Police claim that the taser did not subdue him. First Class Edward George then shot Aaron  four times and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

‘Our Son Was Scared’

Jasper Aaron Lynch (extreme right) with his parents Pat and Kathy Lynch.

A statement released from Aaron’s parents, Pat and Kathy Lynch, reveals that they do not believe the situation was handled justly by police:

“Our son, Aaron, was experiencing a severe mental health crisis on July 7. He was scared and asked for both of the 911 calls that were made that day. We believe that the three police officers who answered the second 911 call could have, and should have, handled this far differently,” said the parents in the statement. 

“To respond to Aaron’s mental health crisis by shooting him at all, let alone multiple times, cannot be justified. We recognize that, at times, police officers face grave and unknown dangers in the line of duty, but that was not the case for that call at our home regarding our son. Aaron was about 5’ 6″, slightly built, and holding just a bottle and a decorative mask.”

“As parents, we mourn the heartbreaking loss of our son and are left with only memories and regret. Had we known there was any possibility that the police responding to the second 911 call would use lethal force against Aaron during a mental health crisis, we would not have involved them until a mental health counsellor could be present, as was the case for the response to the first 911 call. We hope our efforts to find out more about this incident will, in the future, help families in similar situations avoid such a tragic outcome,” they said.

Twenty-Six Violent Trans Deaths This Year So Far

Chief Kevin Davis of the Fairfax County Police Department indicated that investigations were underway to determine if the taser hit Lynch correctly, whether it had an effect, and if it didn’t, why.

Davis also went on to say that the reason a clinician wasn’t present following the second 911 call is because they currently only have one clinician in their crisis responder program but are looking to add up to 15 more.

Aaron’s death is at least the 26th violent death of a transgender or gender-non-conforming individual this year and marks at least the third fatal shooting of a transgender person by police since 2020, according to Human Rights Campaign. The 2015 US Transgender survey also revealed that over half of transgender people who had interacted with law enforcement had been harassed, abused or mistreated.

“At 26, Aaron had his whole life in front of him. My thoughts and prayers are with Aaron’s loved ones. Aaron’s death is a tragic result of our system’s ineffectiveness in caring for people who are struggling mentally and emotionally,” said Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. 

“People, especially those of multiple marginalized identities, suffer every day as a result. His life did not have to end like this. We demand more focus and funding on mental health care in our country, including the addition of mental health counselors to respond to certain critical situations. No family should have to bear this pain,” added Cooper. 

Family and friends are grieving the loss of Aaron, with one of his college mentors saying, “there are breakthrough, world-changing books missing from our future shelves”.

A memorial service for Aaron is being held on September 17, and his family have asked for donations to be made in his memory to The American Civil Liberties Union or The Trevor Project.


If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

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