The trans community is mourning the death of Rasheeda Williams, who was fatally shot this week on Tuesday night (April 18).
The 35-year-old – who is more widely known as Koko Da Doll – had been found with an “apparent gunshot wound” on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia, per News.com.au.
Koko was reportedly “not alert, conscious or breathing” and was pronounced dead at the scene. So far, authorities have not yet named any suspects in relation to the tragic death.
Koko was well-known within the transgender community – especially for having featured in the award-winning documentary Kokomo City, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year. Variety detailed how the raw film followed the lives of four Black trans sex workers living in both Atlanta and New York City – Koko, Daniella Carter, Liyah Mitchell, and Dominique Silver – and the threats of violence they face each day, as well as the struggles they face within the Black community.
D. Smith – the director of Kokomo City – said in a statement to Deadline: “On Tuesday night, Rasheeda Williams was shot and killed in Atlanta. Rasheeda, aka Koko Da Doll, was the latest victim of violence against Black transgender women. I created Kokomo City because I wanted to show the fun, humanized, natural side of Black trans women. I wanted to create images that didn’t show the trauma or the statistics of murder of Transgender lives.
Taking to Instagram, Koko’s co-star Daniella Carter posted some video footage of the pair, writing in the caption: “Never thought I’d lose you, but here I am standing alone without you by my side we’re sisters for life we promised, but now you’re gone I don’t know what to do without you I’m going crazy, I’m trying to hold on to keep strong… [sic].”
Dominique Silver – another fellow cast member – also took to Instagram to pay tribute to Koko, saying: “My sister you are gone but you will NEVER be forgotten. I am struggling right now to grasp the fact that we just spoke and now you aren’t here by my side!”
Our thoughts go out to Rasheeda Williams’ family, friends, and fans at this difficult time. We also support and stand with the transgender community.