Family of Black trans woman Muhlaysia Booker believes killer knew her

Already the victim of a brutal attack, and now a murder, her family believes that her killer was no stranger

Muhlaysia Booker speaks during a rally on Friday, April 20, 2019 in Dallas. Booker, a 23-year-old transgender woman, was assaulted by a group in broad daylight on April 12 at the Royal Crest Apartments in the east Oak Cliff area of Dallas. Booker was found fatally shot Saturday morning, May 18, 2019 on a Far East Dallas street. (Ryan Michalesko/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

The family of Black transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker, whose brutal beating last month drew global attention, believes she knew the person who fatally shot her in Dallas last week, CBS Dallas is reporting.

“I know for a fact it wasn’t a stranger,” Quanjasmine Baccus, Booker’s cousin, told the station. “It was someone who knew her.”

READ MORE: Transgender woman who was brutally attacked last month found dead

Booker’s body was found face-down in a street Saturday morning near a Dallas golf course. The 22-year-old’s father told the station that he hopes the killing was not a case of his daughter being targeted by someone who knew her.

“I pray it wasn’t,” Pierre Booker said. “I don’t want to see nobody’s child go through this, nobody’s family.”

Booker was the victim of a mob attack in a video that went viral last month. Edward Thomas has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault in that case, but police do not know of any ties between that case and Booker’s murder, CBS Dallas reported.

READ MORE: Dallas suspect arrested in brutal hate crime against transgender woman

A friend and self-described mentor told the Dallas Morning News that Booker was a strong woman who picked herself up and kept going after the attack captured in the viral video.

“She lived her truth, Preston Dupree told the newspaper. “She was honest, no matter how you took it. She had a backbone. She stood up for what she believed, period.”

Friend Ramelo Williams told the newspaper Booker was ready to move forward with her life.

“She was looking forward,” he said. “She was happy.”

In the month since her April 12 beating, Booker was seeing a therapist to cope with what happened to her and checking in regularly with the police for updates, Kirk Myers, founder of the group Abounding Prosperity, told the Morning News.

The group paid for a hotel room for Booker after the attack because she did not feel safe, Myers said.

“We are definitely concerned because we know this is not isolated,” Myers told CBS. “Black trans women have suffered violence ongoing for some time now.”

READ MORE: Sisters not just Cisters: Why do we keep failing Black transgender women?