Arrest warrants reveal new details in killing of transgender woman

Suspect accused of shooting victim in the face, stealing 2 cellphones

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

Arrest warrants for a Stone Mountain man accused in the April killing of a transgender woman in southwest Atlanta revealed new details about the shooting.

Darius Mills, 31, is facing multiple charges, including murder and armed robbery, in the shooting of Ashley Burton at the City Park Atlanta apartment complex, Atlanta police announced Monday night. Mills was originally arrested May 27 by East Point police on other serious charges, including aggravated assault, armed robbery and hijacking a motor vehicle, according to online jail records.

Burton, 37, was killed in the early morning hours of April 11, police said. She was found on the second-floor breezeway of the Fairburn Road apartment complex and pronounced dead at the scene.

Warrants obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed that Burton lived at the apartment complex. Investigators said they believe the incident began with a dispute inside Burton’s apartment before moving outside.

Mills is accused of shooting Burton in the face with a 9mm handgun before taking her iPhone. He then entered her apartment and took her second iPhone, the warrants said.

The documents also revealed that Mills was convicted on a felony armed robbery charge in 2010 and was not permitted to have a gun.

Burton was a hairstylist and budding entrepreneur who moved to Atlanta to pursue her dreams, her family said. She was one of three Black transgender women to be shot in Atlanta this year, only one of whom survived. The spate of shootings raised concern among the city’s trans community and prompted Atlanta police to release a statement addressing the pattern.

“We understand some acts of violence bring about legitimate concerns of whether the incident was motivated by hate,” the police department said. “Our investigators have not found any indication the victim(s) were targeted for being transgender or a member of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Mills remains in the Fulton County jail without bond.