Man charged with murder of ‘bright and beautiful’ Black trans woman Dominique Lucious

trans murder

A man has been charged with murder for the fatal shooting of Dominique Lucious, a 26-year-old Black trans woman from Missouri.

Charles Nelson, 28, was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the killing on Thursday (8 April).

Lucious’ body was found at an apartment in Springfield, Missouri. Court documents say she’d planned to meet Nelson there on Thursday morning after connecting with him on a dating site.

Witnesses said Nelson fit the description of a man who was seen driving away from the apartment after gunshots were heard. Police used text messages from Lucious’ phone to identify and arrest him the same day.

Officers found blood on his shoes and a gun in his home that matched a shell casing found at the crime scene. Nelson is now being held in the Greene County jail without bond.

The death has devastated family and friends, who paid tribute to Dominique Lucious on Facebook. “Many don’t get to live in their authentic truth,” wrote a loved one. “You were fierce, glam, and hunny gorgeous! I love you now, tomorrow and forever.”

Trans woman Dominique Lucious

26-year-old trans woman Dominique Lucious (Facebook)

“Our hearts are broken for Dominique, whose bright beautiful light was extinguished far too soon, and for her family facing this horrific tragedy,” the Missouri advocacy group PROMO said in a statement.

“Everyday we work to end the stigma around transgender individuals. Such stigma fuels a culture of fear: transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia sit at the intersection of racism and misogyny, and fosters violence. ⁣⁣

“If we are not working to end the societal violence that ended Dominique’s life, we are part of the problem.”

A motive for the shooting is still unclear, but tragic incidents like these are all too common. Lucious’ death is at least the 13th violent death of a trans or gender non-conforming person in 2021, a growing problem that is likely underreported.

“The high level of violence that transgender and gender non-conforming people continue to face is not acceptable. We must do more to end this violence,” said Tori Cooper of the Human Rights Campaign.

“While details are still emerging, we’ve become aware that Dominque may have been killed by someone she knew. We must be able to trust those who are in our lives – otherwise, who can we trust?

“We need everyone to speak up and support trans lives at every level, from family conversations to legislative debates. Only then will we be able to eradicate the stigma and end this violence.”