The Dallas police department announced on Wednesday (June 12) the arrest of Kendrell Laval Lyles, the man responsible for the murder of black transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker.
Lyles is also responsible for the May 22nd murder of a woman, and a May 23rd drug-related killing of a man. Dallas police would not identify the names of the other victims during the press conference. According to the New York Times, the 33-year-old was arrested June 5 due for the death of the unnamed woman, and police later tied him to the other killings.
Prior to Lyles’ arrest, a wave of fear spread throughout Dallas’ transgender community after Booker’s death. The 23-year-old became the fourth black, female transperson to be killed with no signs the perpetrator would be caught. Two killings occurred in 2019– Booker’s and 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey and the other two took place in 2018 and in 2015.
Maj. Max Geron said Lyles was a “person of interest” as law enforcement invested Lindsey’s death. The police were able to connect Lyles to Booker’s murder as they were piecing together the May 22nd and May 23rd crimes. Dallas cops recognized the car thought to have picked up. Cell phone analysis also shows Lyles was in the area where the murder occurred.
Booker was also the victim of an attack in April, which was recorded and shared online. Police say the attack and her murder were not connected.
Booker’s friend, Jessica Anderson, told the Times Lyles’ arrest didn’t bring about the closure she hoped.
“It’s the strangest thing because I thought it was going to make me happy or give me a sense of relief and in some aspects it does,” Anderson said.
“But at the same time, it’s just one of those things that he still gets to live and then she doesn’t. At the end of the day, I still don’t have any actual answer as to why; what was so necessary, what was so crucial that you had to take her life like that?”