Man charged with shooting transgender woman he met on dating site

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man is being accused of shooting his date in the chest and leaving her paralyzed when he found out she was a transgender woman.

It happened in May in southwest Houston near Sharpstown. According to court documents, 25-year-old Eric Aguillon met the woman on a dating app called "MeetMe."

Investigators said the two were at her apartment the morning of May 7 when she told Aguillon she was a transgender woman.

The two got into a "verbal exchange," according to court documents.

"As he was attempting to leave, our position is the alleged victim got physical with him, and he was placed in a position where he had to defend himself," said Aguillon's attorney, Val Zuniga.

That's when Aguillon allegedly shot the woman in the chest while standing at the doorway of her apartment as he was leaving. The woman asked ABC13 not to disclose her name, but said there was never any physical altercation.

Court documents said the woman "suffered paralysis" after being shot.

"Through surgery and rehabilitation, the victim has function of arms and upper body but not legs," court documents read.

Zuniga said his client claims he shot the woman in self-defense.

Though he is not charged with one, the woman said she believes what happened to her was a hate crime.

"It would never happen if I wasn't the type of person I am," she said. "But like I said, I'm not going to let that deter me. I'm still going to be the person I am and push through."

The woman said she's undergoing physical therapy and hopes to walk again soon.

Aguillon has since been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He appeared in court early Monday morning and had his bond raised to $280,000. This charge was combined with a previous charge.

Court records show Aguillon was out on bail for another assault charge.

The incident remains under investigation.
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