Transgender woman, Muhlaysia Booker, who was beaten on camera in Dallas last month after the attacker was allegedly paid $200 to do so, has been shot dead early Saturday morning. Dallas police confirmed the shooting to the media in a press conference on Sunday saying the police responded to a shooting call at around 6:40 a.m. near the Tenison Park Golf Course, east Dallas where she was found dead with gunshot wounds.
The police said they have no suspects and they have not yet established a connection between Booker’s death and the assault against her last month.
In April, Booker was beaten up by a man on camera as a crowd gathered to watch and cheer. The attack followed a traffic incident when she accidentally backed into a vehicle and the driver pointed a gun at her to pay for the damages before she leaves, said the police in an affidavit.
29-year-old Edward Thomas was arrested for beating Booker and the police said someone had offered him $200 to beat her as the crowd had gathered. The video of the assault went viral showing Booker who suffered several injuries including a concussion and fractured wrist was being punched and kicked on the ground.
She was saved by several women who dragged her to safety after a second attacker joined in the beating. He was not identified nor arrested. Police had said that they were investigating the attack as a hate crime.
The murder of Muhlaysia Booker joins the long list of hate crimes in Dallas where the LGBTQ community is one of the main targets of hate crimes. Assistant Chief Avery Moore of the Dallas Police said at the news conference that there have been 23 homicides in May and 18 have been solved.
“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,” he added.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings expressed sadness at the murder of Booker and called on those with any information to contact the police. “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,” he tweeted.
According to 2018 FBI data, hate crimes in the U.S. have risen to about 17 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year.