DALLAS — Several weeks ago, a 23-year-old transgender woman was beaten in a Dallas parking lot. On Saturday, she was fatally shot.
At a Sunday news conference, Maj. Vincent Weddington of the Dallas Police Department said officers were called to the scene of a shooting around 7 a.m. Saturday. The victim, who he identified as Muhlaysia Booker, was discovered dead on arrival.
The previous assault, on April 12, was recorded on a cellphone. The video captured a man, wearing white, mercilessly punching a woman in a flamingo-pink wig who was trying to shield herself from the blows.
The broad-daylight assault, viewed by a crowd of bystanders, ended when the attacker, joined by other men, knocked the writhing woman unconscious. At least one woman can be heard yelling a homophobic slur toward the end of the video, The Washington Post previously reported.
Then onlookers lifted the limp body to safety. Booker was reportedly treated at a hospital for bone fractures and a possible concussion.
The video footage, posted by a Facebook user under the name Taj Mahal and TajTV, quickly went viral, bringing national attention to the plight of LGBT communities.
It also led to the arrest of Edward Thomas two days later.
Thomas, 29, was charged with aggravated assault in the attack; gender identity is not covered under Texas' hate-crime statute.
Weddington said Sunday that there is no known connection between Booker's shooting and the April assault allegedly perpetrated by Thomas, who has a criminal record, according to court documents. Thomas had been released from the Dallas County jail before Saturday, Weddington added. At this time, the department does not know where he is.
This article was written by Deanna Paul, a reporter for The Washington Post.