The Texas transgender woman who was brutally beaten in a viral video last month was shot dead in Dallas over the weekend.
In a press conference, Assistant Dallas Police Chief Avery Moore said Muhlaysia Booker, 23, was found "lying face down" on a Dallas road on the morning of May 18.
While Moore did say the killing was the result of "homicidal violence," he did not go as far as to call it a hate crime.
"We recognize that hate crimes, if you will, are a serious topic," Moore said at the press conference Sunday. "We at the Dallas Police Department take them serious."
The April beating of Booker sparked national outrage. The viral video of her assault showed several men brutally attack Moore in the parking lot of the Royal Crest apartment complex. As Moore was attacked, the crowd could be heard cheering in the background.
Booker told police the attack occurred after she accidentally backed into another car while reversing in the lot.
During the incident, the men allegedly yelled homophobic and transphobic slurs at her.
Video of the encounter showed a man throw Booker to the ground and repeatedly punch her in the head. Several other men then joined and began stomping and kicking Booker until a group of women intervened.
He has since been released on bond.
At the time of Thomas’ arrest, Dallas police said he was offered $200 to beat Booker, who suffered a concussion and a fractured wrist as a result of the attack.
"This has been a rough week for myself, the transgender community and also the city of Dallas," Booker said at an April press conference. "This time, I can stand before you ... whereas in other scenarios, we are at a memorial."
At this time, investigators believe there is not enough evidence to connect Booker’s killing with the April attack, Dallas police Lt. Vincent Weddington said at a press conference.
No arrests have been made in connection with her fatal shooting.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings offered his condolences to Booker's family and loved ones in the wake of her death.
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of Muhlaysia Booker," he said in a tweet on Sunday. "I call on anyone with information on this homicide to please contact the Dallas Police Department."
So far in 2019, at least three transgender people have been violently killed in the United States, according to a statement from the Human Rights Campaign, In 2018, at least 26 transgender people were murdered, with Black transgender women being the most attacked group.
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