‘She was a warrior.’ Friends remember strength of KC trans woman killed on Christmas Eve

Anyone who spent time with Amber Minor would quickly learn two things about her. She loved to entertain and she always spoke her mind.

There were times when her childhood best friend Tre’Shawn Roberts had trouble containing the boisterous personality that came from Minor, contagiously affecting those around them. A dark situation could turn light when she was around.

Roberts said she truly was the life of the party.

“She is my family. She became my little sister,” Roberts said.

Roberts met Minor when they were young children. Minor’s grandmother lived in the same neighborhood, and the two would play together as often as they could. Naturally, the two developed a strong bond as they grew older and better understood their sexuality.

And when they both knew they wanted to transition, in a world that didn’t accept trans women, their bond grew stronger.

“She’s a very good friend and for this to happen to her is absurd,” Roberts said.

Minor, 40, was killed on Christmas Eve in a shooting in Raytown. At 8:35 a.m. Dec. 24, officers were dispatched to the 9800 block of 77th Terrace on a report of a body laying in a driveway. When officers arrived, they found a victim that had suffered a gunshot wound.

The victim was later identified as Minor, a lifetime Kansas City resident and proud Black trans woman. The killing was the sixth homicide in Raytown in 2023 and 241st homicide in the metro area.

In the days since her body was found, police have said little about Minor’s death and their investigation. Friends say they are eager to learn more and hope authorities are doing everything they can to find out what happened.

‘That girl didn’t deserve that’

“It’s just messed up,” said Kym Walton of Minor’s death. “No matter what, that girl didn’t deserve that.”

Walton, also a transgender woman, first met Minor more than 20 years ago. And in all the time they were friends Walton said Minor was a “survivor.”

In her childhood, Walton said, Minor spent time in foster care. More than a decade ago, she was shot in the stomach and stayed with Walton for a while as she recovered.

And in recent years, Walton said, she was hit by a car and “shot in the neck.”

“That girl, she was a warrior, wasn’t she?” Walton said.

In the words of her friend Roberts, Minor’s life painted a picture of how a strong-willed spirit can guide a person through the hardest times in life.

Minor and Roberts came out as gay men in their teens and knew transitioning would be difficult in the 1990s.

As early as she can remember, though, they had each other. Roberts’ mother took Minor under her wing as they grew up. Some of Roberts’ earliest memories with Minor were emphatically rapping along with Lil’ Kim, and dreaming of opening a hair salon, doing professional makeup and becoming a show girl.

Entertainment was their way to leave their mark on the world and never look back.

“We came out when the times were hard,” Roberts said. “Right now (trans people) have an easy path versus the path that we had to stroll on.”

Roberts said Minor’s strong-willed personality carried her through decades of marginalization and challenges in communities that were not accepting of trans women.

“We built up a strong outer appearance where we didn’t give a f--- about how anyone looked at us, felt about us, or thought about us,” Roberts said. “It wasn’t their life they had to live, it was our life. And if you didn’t like it, f--- you. It didn’t matter who it was.”

“There were no exclusions,” Roberts said. “Even though we were excluded from many things.”

Raytown police are asking anyone with information on the killing to call 816-737-6020 or anonymously at the TIPS hotline, 816-474-8477.