A transgender woman in Texas was found shot to death on the street Sunday, a month after she was filmed being attacked in a parking lot.
As reported by the New York Times, the Dallas Police Department announced Sunday that Muhlaysia Booker, 23, was found dead after responding to reports of gunfire. Police Major Vincent Weddington said the man arrested in connection with the April 12 brawl, Edward Thomas, 29, was no longer in police custody but asserted that there’s no evidence which links him to Booker’s slaying.
Last month, several men were reportedly filmed assaulting Booker in the parking lot of a Dallas apartment complex after Booker accidentally backed into a vehicle and tried to leave the scene. A suspect allegedly ran Booker off the road and threatened her with a gun to get her to pay for the damages.
Citing an affidavit, BuzzFeed reported that someone paid Thomas $200 to beat Booker up following the minor traffic accident.
The video was subsequently posted to Facebook, where it went viral. In it, several suspects are seen punching and kicking Booker while she was on the ground. The Times reported that the assault continued until a group of women helped Booker get away.
Police were investigating the April 12 attack as a possible hate crime as the suspects and people in the crowd allegedly used homophobic slurs during the attack, according to CNN.
Booker was reportedly hospitalized and sustained a concussion and a fractured wrist.
“This has been a rough week for myself, the transgender community and also the city of Dallas,” Booker said at a news conference last month, according to KTVT.
“This time, I can stand before you. Whereas in other scenarios, we are at a memorial.”
Police said there’s no indication April’s altercation was linked to Booker’s murder. They also revealed that they’re still working to locate suspects in last month’s attack.
The Dallas Observer reported that police said they have no leads regarding Booker’s shooting death.
“We recognize that hate crimes, if you will, are a serious topic,” Dallas police Assistant Chief Avery Moore said. “We at the Dallas Police Department take them serious and this is just unacceptable. We have the best investigative team in the country and we will find the perpetrators.”
Update Regarding The Homicide Investigation on Valley Glen Drive.Major Vincent Weddington and Assistant Chief Avery Moore
Posted by Dallas Police Department on Sunday, May 19, 2019
[Featured image: Muhlaysia Booker/Facebook]