DALLAS (CBSDFW.OM) – When Muhlaysia Booker, a transgender woman, was found shot to death less than a month after being beaten by attackers using homophobic slurs, her family feared it was a targeted killing.
“I pray that it wasn’t,” Booker’s father, Pierre Booker said. “I pray that it wasn’t.”READ MORE: Texas Power Company Brazos Electric Files For Bankruptcy Protection After Deadly Winter Storms
“I know for a fact it wasn’t a stranger,” Quanjasmine Baccus, Booker’s relative said. “It was someone who knew her.”
Now, Dallas police said since July of 2017 they’ve investigated four incidents where black transgender women were assaulted, killed or found dead. So far, no suspects have been named.
Last week, Booker was murdered.
A month before that, a transgender woman was stabbed and left for dead, but survived.
Last October, 29-year-old Brittany White was killed and in July of 2017 there was a still-unexplained death of a transgender woman.
“It is certainly disturbing to us any time transgender people are killed,” Leslie McMurray, with the Resource Center said.READ MORE: Dallas Tax Preparer Headed To Prison, Ordered To Pay $11 Million For Filing Fake Tax Returns
McMurray said sadly, this doesn’t surprise the transgender community.
The Human Rights Campaign traced at least 26 deaths to violence in 2018. The majority of victims were black transgender women.
“There was a statistic that the Transgender Law Center put out that said the life expectancy for a transgender woman of color in America is 35 years old,” McMurray said. “That’s a problem.”
Dallas police are now looking for connections in the cases. So far, neighborhood east of Fair Park – the intersection at Spring and Lagow -as one possible tie.
Police say there two victims got in a car with someone. One allowed someone into their car.
Authorities have charged Edward Thomas for this violent attack on Booker, but have not connected him To her murder.
There is a Dallas Police town hall meeting on transgender safety scheduled for Thursday, May 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Resource Center at 5750 Cedar Springs Road.MORE NEWS: Dallas Detectives Searching For Man, Woman In Connection To Fatal Shooting At Murphy Express Gas Station
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall will be speaking.