DALLAS _ A transgender woman who was attacked in April by a group of people in an incident that was recorded on video was found fatally shot Saturday morning on a Far East Dallas street.
Muhlaysia Booker, 23, was found about 6:40 a.m. in the 7200 block of Valley Glen Drive, near Ferguson Road. She was pronounced dead at the scene, the victim of “homicidal violence,” police said.
Police said Sunday that they had no leads in the case. Assistant Chief Avery Moore said he did not have enough information to say whether her slaying was motivated by hate or retaliation.
“We recognize that hate crimes, if you will, are a serious topic,” he said. “We at the Dallas Police Department take them serious.”
Police declined to say whether Booker had reported receiving threats before they found her lying facedown in the road Saturday with a gunshot wound.
In April, a video that circulated online showed Booker being punched and kicked repeatedly in the parking lot of the Royal Crest Apartments in the 3500 block of Wilhurt Avenue. She suffered a concussion and broken wrist from the beating, which began after a car accident.
Edward Dominic Thomas, 29, was arrested two days after the attack and indicted on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He posted bond and was released from jail. Police have said others could face charges in connection with the attack.
Booker told police that she’d backed into another vehicle in the parking lot and that another driver pointed a gun at her and refused to let her leave unless she paid for the damage.
As a crowd gathered around, someone offered Thomas $200 to beat Booker, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Video of the incident showed Thomas putting on gloves and punching her repeatedly.
Police have said that case was being investigated to determine whether it met the criteria of a hate crime, based on Booker’s accusations that homophobic slurs were used during the assault.
At a rally held the week after the assault, Booker told the crowd she was grateful to have survived the attack.
“This time, I can stand before you, where in other scenarios, we’re at a memorial,” she said.
Dallas civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said the slaying is doubly concerning for members of minority communities who fear retaliation for reporting crimes against them.
“There is a legitimate concern that the community doesn’t take seriously,” Merritt said.