Latrina Banks doesn’t know how much longer she can last after losing her second child to gun violence on Labor Day weekend.
First his son Antonio was killed in 2018 and now his daughter is dead after being shot and killed in Dolton.
“I trust God to keep holding me right now because it’s hard,” she cried.
Banks’ daughter, 27-year-old D’isaya Monaee Smith, was shot dead at the Prestige Motel in Dolton, early morning on Labor Day. Banks described the crime scene as gruesome and believes her daughter was fighting the gunman.
“You can say that at the hotel room door, the struggle is at the door, not inside the hotel room,” he said. “There’s blood, there’s a trail of blood just down the hallway.”
Banks said his daughter Facetime him from his motel room hours before the incident. His daughter was out with two female friends. Banks told investigators that Smith was too tired to go out and they left without him. They came back later to find his shot.
“If anyone knows anything about my baby’s murder, please tell me,” Banks cried. “You will get the best thing ever from me.”
Those who knew Smith said he had a larger-than-life personality. Banks said her daughter is a happy, outspoken and caring person.
She liked to dress up, she liked to party, she liked to cook, she liked to do her hair, she liked to take care of people. “He’s been like this since he was little.”
Smith transitioned after graduating from high school in 2014. The family accepted and embraced his new identity, and he finally said he was comfortable in his own skin. They never thought their life would end like this.
“I really don’t know if this is a hate crime or not,” Banks said. “I really don’t know, I don’t know if it was your friends you knew or if you were jealous of him, I really don’t know.”
Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group, keeping track of the number of trans people killed In the country since 2013. At least 35 trans people have been killed so far this year. At least three people from the Chicago area. The group said the deadliest year on record was last year, when 44 transgender people were killed.
“People should love everybody, people should live, you can’t change anybody’s lifestyle,” said Banks. “If you don’t like the lifestyle, walk away. You can’t harass anyone, that’s not what you’re here for, let these people live.”
“There is no evidence at this point leading to speculation of a hate crime,” Dolton police chief told NBC 5 as the investigation continued. Whatever the reason, Banks said no mother should go through the pain of losing her child a second time.
“My baby walks out this door every day saying he loves me and they took that away from me,” she cried. “I’ll never get a chance to hear him say he loves me.”
The Southern Suburbs Major Crimes Task Force assists Dolton police in the investigation.