Family members over the weekend identified the 47-year-old transgender woman who was fatally shot at close range on Melrose Avenue in East Hollywood last week.
She was Aniya “Ray” Parker, her sister told L.A. Weekly. Police confirmed that ID. She was also known as James “Ballie” Parker, relatives said. They have started a crowdfunding page at GoFundMe.com to raise money to transport Parker's body to her native Arkansas for burial, the sister said.
Parker was murdered early Thursday as she walked down Melrose Avenue near North Kenmore Avenue, police said. The attack was captured on multiple security video cameras, a detective told us:
In one video, obtained by CBS Los Angeles, Parker is seen walking down the street, and three men are not far behind. They attack her, and at least one tries to take her purse, but she flees, only to be shot at close range.
Los Angeles Police investigators believe the 3 a.m. attack was a robbery gone terribly sideways. But some participants at a Friday night vigil at the scene of the crime believe this is also a hate crime.
Cops, who have so far discounted any hate crime motives, continued to hunt for the trio over the weekend.
Parker's sister told us:
We are hoping the three individuals who are responsible for this senseless crime are apprehended swiftly.
The victim was murdered just shy of her 48th birthday, family members said on GoFundMe.com:
With a heart of gold, befriending everybody, and a good heart. A giver with a sense of humor, Ballie could always make you laugh even when Ballie wasn't trying.
… Our prayer is that justice is served and the perpetrators are apprehended soon.
A police detective told us today it was possible the city might soon announce a reward for information leading to the apprehension of the three men in their 20s believed to be responsible for deadly the attack.
Anyone who knows who or where they might be was asked to call the LAPD at 800-222-8477.