Atlanta police have finally made arrests in the fatal shooting of Koko Da Doll, also identified as Rasheeda Williams, a trans woman heavily featured in the acclaimed documentary Kokomo City.
The suspect, 17-year-old Jermarcus Jernigan, reportedly turned himself in once notice of a warrant for his arrest had been issued. Jernigan has been charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm. NBC News reported that the motive so far remained unclear.
The fatal incident occurred April 18 in Southwest Atlanta when police responded to a 911 call about someone being shot, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The 35-year-old burgeoning film star was one of three victims in an uptick of violence against Black trans women in the area within the past week, being the second whose life was taken, with the third person in critical condition.
While it is unclear if the crimes correlate, Atlanta investigators believe there is a rightful concern about attacks against the trans community.
William’s breakout role in Kokomo City details the life of transgender sex workers in New York City and Atlanta, having garnered much acclaim during its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
The multifaceted artist, whose song “Bulletproof” just released, thanked director D. Smith during their festival screening for the opportunity to shed light on a marginalized community.
On her rise to fame and prominence, Koko Da Doll shared on Instagram, “I will be the reason there’s more opportunities and doors opening for transgender girls.”
After her untimely death, D. Smith spoke with Variety about the actress and fellow rapper’s impact.
“It’s extremely difficult to process Koko’s passing, but as a team, we are more encouraged now than ever to inspire the world with her story. To show how beautiful and full of life she was. She will inspire generations to come and will never be forgotten.”
Kokomo City is scheduled to be released in theaters July 28.
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