Koko Da Doll was shot earlier this month in downtown Atlanta / Photo via Instagram

Trans Woman and Documentary Subject Koko Da Doll Fatally Shot in Atlanta

Trans woman Koko Da Doll was fatally shot in downtown Atlanta last week.

The 35-year-old, also known as Rasheeda Williams, appeared to have been shot after leaving an apartment complex west of downtown. Her body was found on a sidewalk adjoining a strip mall, according to AP.

Koko had gained notice earlier this year after being featuring in the documentary “Kokomo City.” The documentary followed four Black transgender sex workers as they discussed their gender identities, interactions with clients, and the dichotomies between the Black community and themselves. The film won a NEXT Innovator Award and an audience award at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

“I created ‘Kokomo City’ because I wanted to show the fun, humanized, natural side of Black trans women,” the film’s director D. Smith wrote in an Instagram post commemorating Koko’s death. “I wanted to create images that didn’t show the trauma or the statistics of murder of Transgender lives. I wanted to create something fresh and inspiring. I did that. We did that! But here we are again. 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.”

Koko’s sister, Kilya Williams, told AP that the documentary was “all she would talk about” and she was “not ashamed of who she was.”

“She just wanted to change her life around and help people,” she said.

Koko’s murder comes less than two weeks after the fatal shooting of Ashley Burton, another Black trans woman who was found in southwest Atlanta earlier this month. The Atlanta Police Department is actively investigating whether Koko and Burton’s deaths, as well as another non-fatal shooting in January critically injuring a trans victim, were motivated by anti-trans hate. However, the APD told the New York Times that “investigators have not found any indication the victim was targeted for being transgender or a member of the LGBTQ community, and these cases do not appear to be random acts of violence.”