San Francisco DJ, artist and activist Bubbles was killed this weekend after being shot outside a Tenderloin strip club in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Bubbles was a beloved community figure who, according to their lawyer, was a transgender activist and artist. Bubbles’ attorney, Jim Reilly, called the murder a hate crime. “The details are still coming out… For a transgender activist to be gunned down on [his] own street shouldn’t stand and won’t stand,”.


A memorial was set up for Anthony Torres outside the New Century strip club where he was shot early Sunday. (Michael Barba/S.F. Examiner)

DJ Buckner Williams, a close friend, said that “You always knew when Bubbles was in the room or in the building. He was larger than life but at the same time on a one-on-one level was one of the most dearest and compassionate people I knew. If Bubbles came to your party, you knew it was a good f*****g [sic] party.”

The Tenderloin has historically been a safe place for gay and transgender residents of The City. The neighbourhood birthed one of the first riots for transgender rights at Compton’s Cafeteria in 1966. A historic gay bar called the Gangway is also on the block where Torres was shot.

San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Officer Giselle Linnane confirmed Sunday that a homicide occurred at the intersection. Linnane said the victim “was transported to the hospital and pronounced deceased on arrival.”

The killing marks yet another homicide in an already bloody year for The City. There were 45 homicides in San Francisco as of the first week of September — 15 more than at this time last year, the Examiner previously reported.

Friends planned to hold a vigil for Torres at the scene of the crime around 7 p.m. on Sunday.