Woman Dies After Stabbing Inside Abandoned North Philadelphia House

UPDATE: A man faces murder charges in Chanel's death.

A woman is dead after being stabbed in the back and neck by a man during a fight inside an abandoned North Philadelphia home, officials, family and friends tell NBC10.

London Chanel, a 21-year-old transgender woman, was killed in the stabbing that police said took place around 12:40 a.m. Monday inside a rowhome along the 2200 block of Ingersoll Street.

"She had a heart of gold," Chanel's friend Kione Seymore said remembering her Monday evening. "She hardly ever frowned. She always had a smile on her face. Her laughter was infectious."

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said an argument between Chanel and her 31-year-old alleged attacker sparked the deadly incident inside a middle bedroom on the third floor of the house.

The verbal tiff soon grew into a physical fight that ended with Chanel being stabbed twice in the back and once in the neck, according to Small.

The attacker and another person, who witnessed the stabbing, carried the woman downstairs and placed her on quilts outside the home. They were doing CPR on the victim when they saw a School District of Philadelphia officer nearby.

Small said they flagged the officer down for help who then called Philadelphia Police.

Officers rushed the victim to Hahnemann University Hospital where she was pronounced dead just after 1 a.m., police said.

Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of LGBT Affairs for the city, confirmed Monday afternoon that Chanel was a member of the transgender community and said she was "devastated" by the loss.

"My heart goes out to her family, friends and the community as we mourn her death," she said. “I know that the police department will work tirelessly to fully investigate the case."

A native of Victoria, Texas, about 2 hours northeast of Corpus Christi, Chanel came to Philadelphia several years ago and spent time living at Covenant House, a youth shelter and crisis center in Germantown, according to friends.

Veronica Allen, Chanel's mother, said her daughter's transition had taken a toll on their relationship, but that they reconnected in March and she was looking forward to her moving home.

“She was going to go to court to change her name and then she was going to come home," Allen said. “That’s what we were working towards, but that man took it away from me."

Seymore and Aileen Brown-Henry described Chanel as a kind person who watched after them as they grew up figuring out life together.

“She was my heart and soul. She saved me a lot," Brown-Henry said adding that Chanel helped her transition off the streets. "She was my only friend."

"We are trans sisters. We shared a bond no one could understand," Seymore said.

Chanel's cousin Lennox Washington echoed the sentiments saying she "was loved by anyone" she met.

A candlelight vigil in Chanel's memory is set to be held at the scene Friday evening. Allen said the family has set up a bank account to raise money to have her daughter's body flown back to Texas for a burial.

Homicide detectives continue to investigate the case. A folding pocket knife, which investigators believe was used in the stabbing, was found on the alleged attacker, Small said. Both he and the witness have been taken into custody for questioning. No charges have been filed.

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