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Woman dead after shooting behind Gaithersburg laundromat | News

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Woman dead after shooting behind Gaithersburg laundromat

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) -- A woman has died after he was shot in the head behind a laundromat in Gaithersburg, according to Montgomery County police.  

The shooting occurred in an alley the separates the Montgomery Village Plaza and Montgomery Village Crossing shopping centers in the 9600 block of Lost Knife Road in Gaithersburg. Police say the shooting was reported at around 5:49 p.m. 

Police identified the victim as 21-year-old Zella Ziona, whose legal name was Deandre Smith before becoming a woman, of Montgomery Village. She died after being transported to a local hospital.  

A shooting witness, who asked not to be identified with the suspects still at large, said a group of perhaps half a dozen men were arguing in the alley before the shooting. 

The witness heard four or five shots, then saw several of the men fleeing down the alley. He called 911.


"I was terrified," the witness told WUSA9. 

Police had first said the shooting victim was a woman and then during medical treatment they realized the victim was a man. It remains unclear if the victim being transgender played any role in the shooting.   

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Montgomery County police at 240-773-5070. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered any information that leads to an arrest.  

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