This year is the deadliest on record for transgender people in the United States, leaders at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced this week. At least 45 transgender or nonbinary people have been fatally shot or killed by other violent means in 2021, including a Black trans woman in Greenville, S.C., last week.

The previous record was 44, set last year. Both numbers are likely undercounts, Human Rights Campaign officials say, because many crimes against transgender people are either misreported or not reported at all.

“Each of these 45 names represents a whole person and a rich life torn from us by senseless violence, driven by bigotry and transphobia and stoked by people who hate and fear transgender people and the richness of their experience,” Human Rights Campaign Foundation Interim President Joni Madison said in a statement.

Marquiisha Lawrence, a Black 28-year-old transgender woman, was the 45th known victim this year. According to local news reports, she was fatally shot in her Greenville, S.C., home on Nov. 4 after an altercation with one or more individuals.

Jasmine Ferguson, a cousin who grew up with Lawrence, says the woman she considered a sibling was “the life of the party.”

“She could out-dance everybody,” Ferguson said. “She loved her family with everything inside of her. It didn’t matter if she was down or depressed — she made everyone smile, and you couldn’t not laugh around her. Just a lovely soul.”

Lawrence had recently earned her general equivalence degree, and she planned to enroll in cosmetology school so she could pursue her childhood dream of becoming a hairstylist, Ferguson said. She was the kind of cook who could whip up an entire Thanksgiving feast by herself, and she loved people in a way that hyped them up.

“She is truly missed and loved like no other,” Ferguson said. “She fought so hard to be accepted and just didn’t realize that she was already accepted, and that she was enough. She lived a rock star lifestyle, and her legacy will live on.”

The Greenville County coroner’s office and Greenville County sheriff’s office are continuing to investigate Lawrence’s death. The coroner’s office and local media outlets misgendered Lawrence in reporting her death.

Earlier this year, The Washington Post identified 140 transgender women who were killed nationwide between 2015 and 2020, using news reports, court records, and interviews with police, advocates and prosecutors. In more than 60 percent of cases, police identified a suspect. Of those, only a minority were killed in random acts by strangers, according to The Post’s analysis. The majority — roughly 69 percent of solved cases — were thought to have been killed by someone with whom they’d had prior contact. More than 75 percent of those killed were Black transgender women.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, a transgender woman is four times as likely as a cisgender woman to be murdered.