Update via Nola.com: New Orleans police have arrested three women in connection with the fatal stabbing of an Algiers man in his apartment Sunday afternoon.
Perrion Crawford, Ventrice Battle and Regina Reddick have all been booked with second degree murder in connection with the killing of Eric Lee, 21, at the Jackson's Landing apartments in Algiers, said Officer Janssen Valencia, a spokesman for NOPD.
Family members of Lee said he was outgoing and kind, and were upset that information was released about the way he was dressed when he was killed.
Very disturbing news out of New Orleans. Eric Lee, 21, was fatally stabbed on Sunday around 4:15 PM in the Jackson's Landing Apartment complex in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. Police have no suspects or motive at this point, although Lee was apparently in an argument with several women in the complex's courtyard before the stabbing.
Eric Lee born male presented himself as a female and was commonly referred to as 'Erica or 'Eyonce', according to friends of the victim. The Times-Picayune incorrectly reported Lee referred to himself as 'Beyonce'.
While it hasn't been reported that New Orleans police is investigating this case as a possible hate crime the victim's gender identity & sexual orientation isn't being ruled out as a possible motive by survivors of his attack.
"He dressed to the nines," said one man, who declined to give his name.
Carl Adams, 62, said he didn't know Lee well but often heard him arguing with other residents. "Probably because they made fun of him," Adams said.
The apartment complex has seen its share of violence in the past, including several shootings and stabbings, police said.
(Image via Google Maps)
Family and friends are captured in the picture above grief-stricken upon learning of Lee's death. New Orleans residents weigh in on yet another homicide to take place in the city post Hurricane Katrina, the ongoing racial tension, and the devastating effects of unemployment, homelessness, and a lack of education on the spiraling homicide rates in this thread on nola.com.
And of course there is no shortage of speculation when it comes to motive. Nola.com user newilson1:
You find out your boyfriend is in a
gay relationship and then you and your
homegirls stab the man who your boyfriend
was fooling around with instead of just
ending the relationship with the boyfriend.
For this all of you should go to jail
for life for being stupid hoodrats.
Nola.com user nigreen:
I heard that the guy was gay and he was playing cards with some girls for a dollar, he cheated, they got mad and stabbed him. The guy tried to defend his self by running in someone else's apartment and picking up a plant to hit them with, but he collapsed on the woman's kitchen floor. The woman said she watched him take his last breath.
While both theories are clearly speculative and not presented as fact, if there's any truth to them, sadly black men and specifically black gay men have fallen victim to similar acts of senseless violence in the past.