‘She didn’t get to fulfill her purpose,’ aunt says of 23-year-old woman killed in New Orleans

Nia Lassai dreamt of becoming a rapper, her aunt Keisha Dominique said, explaining that her niece’s poetic lyrics were a way to tell her story that included more challenges than any 23-year-old’s life should.

On the day Nia Lassai was born, her biological father was fatally shot in the Calliope Projects where Lassai grew up until Hurricane Katrina. Her mother Kimberly had her first baby when she was 15 and raised six children while trying to hold a job, needing food stamps to support her family, Dominique said. Lassai’s stepfather was shot and killed, too, in 2013. In school, Lassai got in trouble for fighting with the kids who bullied her for her dark skin and hair, Dominique said, until she dropped out around 8th grade.

On Tuesday (June 4), the 23-year-old was fatally shot, two streets from her mother’s New Orleans East home.