Arrest made in fatal shooting of Koko Da Doll, trans star of Sundance hit film

Trans star was found shot and killed in Atlanta on 18 April

Inga Parkel
Friday 28 April 2023 17:55 BST
Kokomo City trailer

Atlanta police have arrested a 17-year-old in connection to the fatal shooting of Rasheeda Williams, AKA Koko Da Doll, the trans star of Sundance’s hit documentary Kokomo City.

On Thursday (27 April), police announced the teenager had been brought into custody after reportedly turning himself in. He’s currently being detained at Fulton County Jail.

“Atlanta police homicide detectives were able to establish probable cause and secure arrest warrants for murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter.

The 17-year-old is currently facing charges following an investigation into the murder of Williams, who police found unresponsive with a gunshot wound on Tuesday (18 April).

“She was not alert, conscious or breathing and pronounced deceased on scene by AFR [Atlanta Fire Rescue Department],” police released in an earlier statement. Williams was 35.

Police had not identified Williams by name, but in an Instagram post shared shortly after her death, Kokomo City director D Smith said: “Rasheeda, aka Koko Da Doll, was the latest victim of violence against Black transgender women”.

Williams was one of the trans women to appear in the forthcoming documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The documentary features four Black trans sex workers living in Atlanta and New York City, and shows the persistent threat of violence they face each day.

Elaborating on why the film was made, Smith wrote on Instagram: “I created Kokomo City because I wanted to show the fun, humanised, natural side of Black trans women.

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“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.”

Kokomo City is set to be released in the UK on 4 August with a US release planned for later this year.

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