Family member of transgender woman killed in Springfield shooting says she was a ‘strong and courageous’ person

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A man accused of shooting a transgender woman early Thursday morning is behind bars without bond.

Charles Nelson, 28, is charged with the second-degree murder of Dominique Lucious, 26, and is currently being held in the Greene County Jail.

The news has been devastating and completely unexpected for family.

“I called my mom. I was like ‘Please don’t say it, just don’t say it.’ And she was like ‘Yeah, Dominique died.’ And I just broke down,” said Ciara Williams, Dominque Lucious’s cousin.

The family of Dominique Lucious says the news came out of nowhere. Some, like her cousin Ciara Williams, did not learn that she was killed until early Friday morning.

”It was hard. I didn’t want to hear what she [my mother] had to say for a minute,” Williams said.

Detectives say they found a text message on Lucious’s phone, in which she asked Nelson for drugs in exchange for a sexual act. Witnesses say they heard gunshots and then saw a man drive away from an apartment on North Main.

”It’s really hard, you know,” Williams said. “Because I feel like whatever the case may have been, they didn’t have to kill Dominique.”

Nelson was arrested outside a home on East Commercial Street. Inside, police say they found a loaded gun with bullets that matched shell casings found on Main.

Domique was more than just a cousin to Williams. She was like a sister.

”We grew up together. We have lived together numerous times,” Williams said. “...more like a sibling to me. We were both homeless at a point in our lives when we were younger. She made sure I had somewhere warm to stay, even if she didn’t. She had a very good heart.”

Family members described her as a strong, courageous person who overcame all sorts of barriers.

”Dominique grew up as Dominic. You know, that was my boy cousin for the longest time,” Williams said. “It took family a while to adapt to that, but they did. Of course they did.”

Williams said Lucious was used to hate from strangers, but never let that get in the way.

”She loved herself how she was and that’s what made everybody adore her,” Williams said. “If she had her red lip stick and her red nails, she didn’t care what you had to say about her. And I loved that so much about her.”

While the family still has plenty of fond memories, those memories also bring some of the hardest grief.

“I would be, ‘Like yeah remember when you used to say curse words when we were little and I would go tell grandma?’ And she was like, ‘Yeah you were a snitch.’ I’m going to miss those memories,” Williams said. “Me thinking about it makes me cry, because it’s like, I’ll never be able to have those again.”

The death of Lucious marks the sixth homicide investigated by the Springfield Police Department in 2021.

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