A transgender woman was shot dead Saturday night (Feb. 25) outside a shopping center in New Orleans East, according to a relative who identified the victim as Chyna Doll Dupree.
Police said the victim was found shot several times in the 4300 block of Downman Road at about 8:30 p.m. and died at the scene. The Orleans Parish coroner's office will release the victim's name and cause of death.
By 9:30 p.m., police had cordoned off the Bella Plaza shopping center, where a body lay between two cars parked in front of a clothing store. Downman was blocked to southbound traffic.
Neighbors said they heard eight to 10 gunshots.
A woman who asked not to be named said Dupree was her niece and identifies as a transgender woman. She said that Dupree is a drag performer from New Orleans and has toured in shows across the country.
"A very loving person," the woman said. "She didn't do nothing to nobody."
Dupree was formerly known as Walter Flemming, according to her aunt. Facebook lists her name as Chyna Gibson.
A friend, who also asked not to be named, said Dupree had recently arrived from her current home in California to celebrate Mardi Gras with friends and family. "She was just a really good person," the friend said. "Everyone loved her. This is unnecessary."