Atlanta Black trans woman and Kokomo City documentary star Koko Da Doll (known as Rasheeda Williams by loved ones), 35, was shot and killed Tuesday, April 18, around 10:42 p.m.
According to an Atlanta Police Department report, responders found Williams’ body on 2457 Martin Luter King Jr. Dr. SW with a gunshot wound.
“She was not alert, conscious or breathing and pronounced dead on scene by AFR,” the report read. “Homicide investigators responded to the scene and are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident. The investigation continued.”
Koko was among the four Black trans sex workers in the award-winning documentary released in January at the Sundance Film Festival.
Kokomo City director D. Smith released a statement regarding Koko’s death.
“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,” Smith’s statement read. “I wanted to create images that didn’t show the trauma or the statistics of the murder of Transgender lives. I wanted to create something fresh and inspiring.”
The statement continued, “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.”
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Sundance Film Festival addressed the news of Koko’s death on Twitter.
“We were honored to have her at the Festival this year with Kokomo City, where she reminded Black trans women, ‘We can do anything, we can be whatever we want to be.’ It is a tragic loss,” the tweet read.
We are saddened to hear about the death of Rasheeda Williams aka Koko Da Doll. We were honored to have her at the Festival this year with KOKOMO CITY, where she reminded Black trans women, “we can do anything, we can be whatever we want to be.” It is a tragic loss. pic.twitter.com/Ca57LBnk8V
— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) April 20, 2023
The APD is investigating Koko’s murder, and the antisemitic and transphobic flyers hung around the Zone 6 Community. While it may seem like Koko’s murder is connected to the flyers, the department isn’t reaching conclusions without investigating.
“…distribution has led to a heightened level of awareness throughout our department, and we have increased patrols around where the flyers were found,” the report read.