“She was killed in front of a gunman. Her relatives believe her actions saved lives that day,” GLAAD said in a tweet.
BOISE, Idaho – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) took to Twitter on Saturday to honor Jo Acker, a transgender woman who tragically lost her life in the Boise Towne Square shooting in October.
November 20 is Trans Day of Remembrance, and GLAAD has released countless tributes to other transgender people across the country in honor of this day.
“She was killed in front of a gunman. Her relatives believe her actions saved lives that day,” the tweet said.
Acker was working as a security guard at the Boise Mall at the time of the shooting. She was shot by the gunman after confronting her.
Her family said the 26-year-old was loving, caring and had always wanted to be the voice of peace and reason. Jo died helping others, which is how she would have liked to leave this earth, they added.
Acker’s sister on Facebook released a statement on behalf of the family saying that Acker “was the kind of person who always wanted to help people.”
The brother wrote that many lives were saved thanks to Acker’s “heroisms” and that she “will be remembered as a heroine”, adding that she was “loved by all” who knew her and that she would be “missed a lot”.
Acker’s former taekwondo instructor, Master Lee, told KTVB he remembers her as very respectful and always caring. He was in shock after Acker’s mother told him what had happened.
“I can’t believe this has happened, but I am so proud,” said Master Seung Lee, Yong-in Taekwondo Master Lee.
Lee added “it is our teaching to help others and to strive for justice” and that Acker “has shown this example of our taekwondo philosophy”.
Acker’s GoFundMe can be found here. Roberto Padilla Arguelles, the other victim of the mall shooting, GoFundMe can be found here.