Sasha Johnson: BLM activist hospitalised in London shooting
The 27-year-old mother of three was shot in the head in the early hours of Sunday morning at an address in Peckham in south London. She is currently in critical condition in a London hospital after undergoing surgery.
In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police earlier today, Commander Alison Heydari said: “From our enquiries so far, we have established that Sasha had been at a party at a house on Consort Road in Peckham early on Sunday morning.
“Around 3am a group of four black males dressed in dark coloured clothing entered the garden of the property and discharged a firearm.
“They had left the scene before officers arrived.”
Mrs Heydari said police were aware of Mrs Johnson’s BLM connections and stressed she was mindful of the consequent concern of some communities.
Sasha Johnson, the Black Lives Matter activist, is in critical condition after being shot
However, she added: “I wish to stress that at this time there is nothing to suggest Sasha was the victim of a targeted attack.
“We are also not aware of any reports of threats made against her prior to this incident.
She continued: “This was a shocking incident that has left a young woman with very serious injuries.
“Our thoughts are with the family of Sasha Johnson who are being supported by specially trained officers.”
Sasha Johnson speaks at a Black Lives Matter rally in London earlier this year
“A dedicated team of detectives are working tirelessly to identify the person – or people – responsible for the shooting.
“They are making good progress but they need the public’s help.
“I want to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are doing everything possible to identify those responsible and to bring them to justice.
“Tackling violent crime on the streets of London is a top priority for the Met, and the people of London have a vital role to play in that.”
Police outside the address where Mrs Johnson was shot
Witnesses are being urged to contact police immediately by calling 101.
Alternatively, they can report information anonymously to Crimestoppers online on by calling 0800 555 111.
Ms Johnson is a known figure in the Black Lives Matter movement and is described as “a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community” by the Taking The Initiative Party, of which she is a member.
She works in activism and community support and got a first in social care at Oxford University.
Ms Johnson’s friend Imarn Ayton yesterday told BBC News that the young mother has successfully undergone surgery and her parents are with her in hospital.
Asked about the circumstances, she said: “As far as we are aware, she was at a party.
“There was a rival gang that may have heard about someone being in that party that they didn’t feel quite comfortable with or trusted and so they resorted to driving past and shooting into the garden, and one of those shots obviously hit Sasha Johnson.
“But I don’t believe she was the intended victim.”
On Monday, a group gathered around the bandstand in Ruskin Park, Denmark Hill, to hold a vigil for Ms Johnson close to the hospital where she is being treated.
Former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott was today embroiled in controversy over her tweet about the shooting, in which she appeared to suggest Mrs Johnson had been targeted because of her BLM connections.
The Labour MP for Hackney North posted: “Nobody should have to potentially pay with their life because they stood up for racial justice #BlackLivesMatter.”
However, interviewing Mrs Abbott on LBC, host Iain Dale said: “Even those who were witnesses are suggesting it was a gangland killing.”
Defending herself against Mr Dale’s suggestion that she had not “done her homework”, Mrs Abbott said: “If you raise issues of race and are accused of inflaming tensions, that doesn’t get us anywhere fast.”
(More to follow)