Black Lives Matter activist in critical condition after being shot in the head in London
A black equal rights activist is in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the head in London in the early hours of Sunday (23 May).
Mother-of-three Sasha Johnson 27, was found with life-threatening injuries in Southwark, south London, at around 3am.
Officials from the Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP), an economic and political group Ms Johnson works for, said the shooting followed “numerous death threats”.
The Oxford graduate is a known figure in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and is described as “a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community” by her colleagues.
The 27-year-old works in activism and community support and got a first in social care at Oxford University.
In a statement, the TTIP said: “It is with great sadness that we inform you that our Sasha Johnson has sustained a gunshot wounds to her head.
“She is currently hospitalised and in a critical condition.
“The incident happened in the early hours of this morning, following numerous death threats.
“Sasha has always been actively fighting for black people and the injustices that surround the black community, as well as being both a member of BLM and a member of Taking The Initiative Party’s executive leadership committee.”
The TTIP has asked people to “all come together and pray for Sasha, pray for her recovery and show our support to her family and loved ones”.
Claudia Webbe, Labour MP for Leicester East, was among those who went online to express “solidarity” with Ms Johnson.
She said: “We were all out last year for Black Lives Matter. I only know her as an activist on these issues of Black Lives Matter.
“I support Black Lives Matter and therefore support what she was doing.
“As a member of Parliament I stand in full solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and I stand with her work in the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Appeals for information
The Metropolitan Police later reissued an appeal for witnesses to the shooting of a 27-year-old woman, although officers were unable to confirm if it was the incident involving Ms Johnson.
The Met said the woman was in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being shot in the early hours of Sunday (23 May), and was found after officers were called to reports of gunshots in Consort Road, Peckham, south-east London, just before 3am.
Police said the shooting occurred in the vicinity of a house where a party was taking place and a number of people may have been in the area at the time.
Detectives from the Met’s specialist crime command (Trident) are leading the investigation and are “pursuing a number of priority lines of enquiry”, but no arrests have yet been made.
Investigations are at an early stage, but police said there is nothing to suggest the shooting was a targeted attack, or that the woman had received any credible threats against her before this incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Jimi Tele said: “This was a shocking incident that has left a young woman with very serious injuries.
“Our thoughts are with her family who are being provided with support at this terribly difficult time.”
Inspector Tele said detectives are making “good progress” in hunting the attackers but officers are calling for help from the public.
It is “crucial” that anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Consort Road area in the early hours of Sunday, or who has heard information since then, get in touch with the police.
Inspector Tele added: “Finally, I recognise that this incident will have shocked those in the local community and further afield.
“I would ask people to avoid speculating as to the motive or the circumstances behind it.”