DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – It was a brutal, violent beating of a Dallas trans woman that spread worldwide on social media. Now that victim — Muhlaysia Booker — is Dallas’ latest murder victim.
Saturday morning Dallas police found Booker in the 7200 block of Valley Glen Drive at around 6:40 a.m near the Tenison Park Golf Course — murdered. Someone shot and killed her. Her father said he hopes his child wasn’t targeted.
“I pray it wasn’t. I don’t want to see nobody’s child go through this. Nobody’s family,” said Pierre Booker.
Muhlaysia’s case has garnered national attention. Her family said they aren’t convinced this was an act of hate. All they know is… their loved one is gone.
“I know for a fact it wasn’t a stranger. It was someone who knew her,” said Muhlaysia’s cousin Quanjasmine Baccus, who spent more time with Muhlaysia than most.
Booker was at the center of a viral video last month where she was seen being brutally attacked outside the Royal Crest Apartments on Wilhurt Avenue in south Dallas.
Edward Thomas was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in the case. Police said on Sunday they are continuing to try and identify people who were involved in the assault.
Police do not know of any connections between Booker’s death and the assault.
Another Dallas transgender woman, Naomi Green helped lead support for Booker after last months attack. She and others from Dallas’ Abounding Prosperity Group rallied with Booker in a public display against hate crimes against black trans women.
The leader of that group said Booker’s killing is just the latest act of violence against trans women.
“We are definitely concerned because we know this is not isolated, black trans women have suffered violence ongoing for some time now,” said Kirk Myers with Abounding Prosperity Group.
The sent CBS 11 News a statement that reads in part: Abounding Prosperity, Inc. (AP, Inc.) is extremely saddened and shocked at the news of the murder of our sister, Muhlaysia Booker. Muhlaysia was a courageous young woman who was seeking justice for the brutal attack launched against her on April 12, 2019. To learn today that her young life was taken by homicidal violence early Saturday morning is heartbreaking, yet it inspires us to further demand justice on behalf of our fallen sister. This incidence of African American Transwomen being murdered has become too frequent and it must be stopped.”
During Sunday’s press conference, Dallas police talked about the violent month the city appears to be experiencing. They said there have been 23 homicides in May and have solved 18 of them.
“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 recognize not everybody does. 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,” Assistant Chief Avery Moore said.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings responded to the case on Twitter, saying “I am 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.”
Police do not have any suspects in Booker’s murder at this time.