Family and friends are mourning the loss of popular performer Chyna Doll Dupree Gibson, the fifth transgender woman to be killed in 2017. Gibson was fatally shot in New Orleans Saturday evening (Feb. 25) while she was in town celebrating Mardi Gras.
Nola reports multiple gunshots were heard at the 4300 block of Downman Road, outside of a shopping center around 8:30 p.m. Gibson was found between two parked cars and pronounced dead at the scene. Gibson was born Walter Flemming but was known widely as Gibson on and off stage. Her surprising dance moves and on-stage persona made her popular in local LGBTQ inner B/HAP (ball and house pageant) cirlces.
Texas advocacy group Black Trans Women, Inc., released a statement on Gibson. “Chyna Gibson had gone home to New Orleans to like thousands of other people, celebrate Mardi Gras and be with her family during that festive time,” it reads. “Instead, she was brutally murdered. Shot ten times and left to die in the parking lot of a New Orleans strip mall. BTWI would like to express our condolences to Chyna’s family, friends and all who loved her. She was well known in the pageant and ballroom community as Chyna Doll Dupree, and she will be missed.”
Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Houston, also released a statement on Facebook condemning the shooting. “The senseless murder of our trans sisters and brothers is something we simply cannot continue to ignore! I offer my deepest condolences to her friends and family. We say your name #ChynaGibson,” she said. “To my LGBT brothers and sisters as the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations – I will not stop fighting on your behalf. Your lives matter. #ChynaGibson.”
Gibson’s death comes days after the death of Keke Collier of Chicago. The 24-year-old also known as Tiara Richmond, was the fourth trans woman killed this year and also the third black victim after stylist Mesha Caldwell and 23-year-old Jo Jo Striker. An unidentified friend also spoke out about Gibson and the special light she possessed. “She was just a really good person,” the friend said. “Everyone loved her. This is unnecessary.”
The New Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office hasn’t named Gibson the victim of the shooting but friends identified the budding star while leading tributes on social media in her honor.
— bevysmith (@bevysmith) February 26, 2017
No suspects have been named in the shooting.