A transgender performer from Sacramento was shot and killed in New Orleans over the weekend, the city’s Police Department confirmed Tuesday morning.
She was identified by the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office as 31-year-old Chyna Gibson.
GLAAD, a national LGBT advocacy organization, lists her as one of several transgender women of color who have been killed in 2017.
Gibson was the victim of a Saturday night shooting in New Orleans amid citywide Mardi Gras celebrations. Her body was found lying in a parking lot at the 4300 block of Downman Road in the city’s Pines Village, according to a New Orleans Police Department press release.
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Officers said she was between two cars and was suffering from gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Adam Hicks, a longtime friend of Gibson who lives in Houston, said the 31-year-old was visiting New Orleans from Sacramento to see family and appear at a performance scheduled for Sunday.
Gibson was a well-known dancer, going by the stage name of Chyna Doll Dupree, who performed at drag shows and LGBT events across the country, he said. The last time Hicks saw her was Thursday while she was dancing at an event in Houston before her departure to New Orleans.
“A lot of her shows were upbeat numbers,” he said. “She was just really happy and she was having a good time.”
The two met in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when Gibson moved from New Orleans to Houston, Hicks said. She moved to Sacramento roughly four years ago to live with her adoptive mother, he said.
Hicks said he has few details about Gibson’s death. He said Gibson was reportedly walking out of a boutique when she was shot.
“It happens to people all the time, but when it hits this close to home, it’s really shocking,” Hicks said of the shooting.
Friends and fans held a candlelight vigil for Gibson on Sunday in Houston and Dallas, Hicks said. A GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds for her memorial services garnered close to $3,000 by Tuesday afternoon. Gibson’s family members were not available for comment Tuesday.
A New Orleans Police Department spokesman did not confirm via email whether the homicide was being investigated as a hate crime.