Neighbors react after person found beaten and killed near Spruce & Independence

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A woman walked out of a home Tuesday morning and into a crime scene.

It happened near Spruce and Independence avenues. Police said they are working to identify the person found beaten on the steps of the house. They have not released the victim's name or gender and said they are working to determine how the person identifies within the community.

Neighbors tell FOX4 they believe the victim is a transgender woman.

Around 6:30 a.m. police got a call about a body found on the steps. The woman on the other end of the line told dispatchers she was leaving the house to give a family member money -- and found the person lying there.

Police said the victim was severely beaten, but neighbors said they also heard gunshots around 2:30 a.m. Investigators haven't said if the victim was shot.

Danny Pham works and lives in the area and said he sees violence frequently around the neighborhood. Pham said KCPD patrols every day to make sure people are safe at their store.

"I see a lot of danger around here. I know everywhere has danger, but some neighborhoods have better crime," Pham said. "Better place to go."

The overnight shooting bothers him, and he hopes they find who did this just down the street.

"Everybody is a human life," Pham said. "It doesn't matter where you're from or what color you are. Sad. Very sad. So very upset."

Police were able to get a search warrant to look through the home neighbors said is vacant to look for clues about what happened, who did this and why.

In a press release, they said investigators are working to identify the victim and determine how they identify within the community.

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying they were mourning the loss of a transgender woman in the Kansas City community.

If you have any information about this case, you are asked to call the TIPS Hotline. There is a $25,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction. You can remain anonymous.

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