Transgender Woman Found Shot Dead After Viral Video Attack
A 23-year-old transgender woman whose beating in front of a crowd was captured on video has been found dead on a Dallas, USA street.
Muhlaysia Booker was found face-down early on Saturday after officers were called following reports of shots being fired. She was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
Police responded to a shooting call at around 6:40 am near the Tenison Park Golf Course. She was found dead from a gunshot wound, CBS Dallas reports.
Booker died from "homicidal violence," said police officer Vincent Weddington. He did not elaborate. No suspect has been identified.
Weddington said there's no evidence indicating a link between the shooting and the April 12 beating Booker suffered after she was involved in a minor traffic accident. A police affidavit released at the time said Booker accidentally backed into a vehicle before the driver of that vehicle pointed a gun at her and refused to let her leave unless she paid for the damage.
As a crowd gathered, someone offered $200 to a man to beat the woman, who suffered a concussion, fractured wrist and other injuries, police said. Other men also struck Booker, with one stomping on her head. Edward Thomas, 29, was arrested and jailed on a charge of aggravated assault.
A cellphone recording showed her being beaten as the crowd hollered and watched. Video of the attack was shared on social media.
Booker attended a rally the following week where she said she was grateful to have survived.
"This time I can stand before you, wherein other scenarios, we're at a memorial," The Dallas Morning News reported her as saying.
Weddington said the investigation into the April attack continues.
"We're still attempting to identify other people that were seen assaulting Muhlaysia in the video," he said.
Police said on Sunday they didn't know of any connections between Booker's death and the assault.
"It is the DPD policy that we actively pursue murder suspects. We as a department hold human life dearly and precious as should everybody but we recognise not everybody does," Assistant Chief Avery Moore said.
"So speaking directly to them -- I want you to know that the DPD has never tolerated murder and we never will so understand that we will actively, aggressively pursue you. We need the help of the community and that will be our directive."
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings tweeted about the latest shooting, saying he is "deeply saddened to learn of the murder of Muhlaysia Booker. I call on anyone with information on this homicide to please contact the Dallas Police Department."