Suspect Arrested in Connection to Killing of Black Trans Sundance Star Koko Da Doll
A 17-year-old has been arrested in connection to the killing of Koko Da Doll (also known as Rasheeda Williams), a trans woman who was the subject of the hit Sundance documentary Kokomo City.
According to a statement from the Atlanta Police Department, the suspect turned himself in at a precinct on Wednesday, April 26, identifying himself as the person of interest in the case. He is facing charges of murder and aggravated assault. After turning himself in, the suspect was “transported to the Fulton County jail and taken into custody without incident.” (Rolling Stone is not publishing the suspect’s name because he is under 18.)
As The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, the suspect identified himself as the man in a white hoodie that showed up in surveillance images previously released by the APD. According to the arrest warrant (obtained by The AJC), the suspect denied shooting anyone, but police say his admission to being at the scene of the crime, combined with surveillance evidence, was enough to get the warrant for his arrest approved.
The surveillance footage was reportedly taken at a Wendy’s across the street from the parking lot where Williams’ body was discovered. Police claim the footage shows a man in a white hoodie arguing with Williams, firing a gun, and running off. A witness also said she saw Williams arguing with a man in a white hoodie before hearing gunshots.
Williams was reportedly still breathing when two women discovered her. However, she was pronounced dead at the scene by the time police arrived.
Williams, 35, was one of the four stars of Kokomo City, along with three other Black trans women, Dominique Silver, Liyah Mitchell, and Daniella Carter. The film, which won two awards at Sundance, follows the women’s lives in New York and Atlanta, documenting “their love/hate relationships with cis men, their relationships to their own beauty, and the full array of attitudes that confront their lives on a daily basis” (per Rolling Stone’s review).
Kokomo City director D. Smith spoke with Rolling Stone after Williams’ death, saying, “I call her Koko the code, because she was the code we needed in this film. She bridges people together.” Smith added, “I want people to get any opportunity they can to see her in her truth, and speaking so openly and candidly about her life, and her goals. It was a blessing to know her.”
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