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Azsia Johnson, the young mother who was shot and killed while pushing her three-month-old baby in a stroller in New York City, had reportedly made multiple domestic violence complaints to police prior to her execution-style murder.
Ms Johnson’s heartbroken mother accused the police of failing to protect her 20-year-old daughter from her allegedly abusive ex-boyfriend, with investigators now searching for the baby’s father as a person of interest in her slaying.
Police said a hooded gunman approached from behind and fired a single shot to her head at point-blank range, killing her. The baby was unharmed.
The victim’s family reportedly told investigators that Ms Johnson was planning to meet the baby’s father that night.
The NYPD has refused to confirm the baby’s father is the person of interest but said investigators are exploring domestic violence as a possible motive.
The shooting unfolded in one of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods and just blocks from a playground, just days after the Supreme Court loosened US gun laws.
Surveillance footage captures gunman pacing moments before shooting
Surveillance footage has captured the gunman pacing around the area just moments before he shot and killed the 20-year-old victim.
Police sources told NBC News that video footage had been recovered from in and around the crime scene, showing the suspect pacing in front of a residence just before he carried out the execution-style attack.
Azsia Johnson was also captured in footage pushing the stroller with her baby inside.
Victim’s mother urges killer to ‘turn yourself in’
The mother of 20-year-old Azsia Johnson has urged her daughter’s killer to “turn yourself in” as her two young children have now been left without their mother.
Lisa Desort sent a message to the gunman who shot her daughter dead, urging him to seek counselling.
“I treated you like a son. I welcomed you into my home. I spoke to you and calmed you down when you were upset. I fed you. Your baby girl does not, and no longer, will have a father or mother," hun fortalte NBC News.
“Turn yourself in. This is what we have been telling you – turn yourself in. Go to counselling. You didn’t have to hurt my daughter. We could have been a family.”
Ms Desort said that the father of her daughter’s three-month-old child is wanted for questioning by police after he allegedly assaulted Ms Johnson and threatened her when she was pregnant.
The NYPD has not named a suspect but has identified a person of interest. Police have not released the identity of the person of interest.
Azsia Johnson had filed at least two domestic violence complaints
Azsia Johnson had filed at least two domestic violence complaints in the two years before she was gunned down in Manhattan on Wednesday night.
A law enforcement official told The Daily Beast that the 20-year-old had filed the complaints against more than one man.
The identities of the men were not revealed and it is unclear how the authorities responded.
The NYPD said the murder of the 20-year-old mother is being investigated as a possible domestic incident, while Ms Johnson’s family said that the father of her three-month-old child is a person of interest being sought for questioning.
Lisa Desort, Ms Johnson’s mother, said that the baby’s father had abused her daughter when she was pregnant and that she and her daughter had alerted the police.
But the authorities failed to protect her daughter, hun sa.
Data shows spike in crimes in NYC but shootings down
The latest data released by the NYPD shows that crime has surged in New York City in the last year but that the number of shootings has actually fallen.
Totalt 58,417 crimes were reported across the five boroughs in the year ending 26 juni 2022 – a rise of 37.8 percent from 42,383 crimes reported in the same period in 2021.
However the number of shootings is down by 12.1 percent from 710 til 624 in the same timeframe.
The number of shooting victims has also fallen by 8.6 percent in the last year from 817 i 2021 til 747 i 2022.
Mayor Eric Adams announces new unit to tackle gun violence
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the launch of a new unit to tackle gun violence on Thursday – just hours after the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Azsia Johnson.
The DNA Gun Crimes Unit will speed up gun crime analysis, with forensic experts able to provide DNA results in half the current time of 60 dager.
A staggering $2.5m is being channeled into the new unit, which will be overseen by New York City’s medical examiner’s office.
In a press conference announcing the unit’s launch, the mayor said it will play a “major role” in tackling gun violence in the city.
“This is a central part of our apparatus in fighting gun violence and sometime we missed this piece but without this piece, we can’t take guns off our streets and deal with people who are dangerous to our city," han sa.
Map shows the shooting’s proximity to children’s playground
The shooting took place just steps away from a playground where children were playing.
Azsia Johnson was shot dead near 95th Street and Lexington Avenue in the Upper East Side at around 8.30pm on Wednesday.
The playground Samuel Seabury Park is at the same intersection.
Here is a map of the scene:
Vigil planned for Thursday night in honour of Azsia Johnson
A candlelight vigil has been planned for Thursday night in honour of Azsia Johnson.
The vigil will take place on East 95th street between Lexington and Third Avenue, close to the scene of the horrific shooting on Wednesday night.
It is scheduled to start at 8.30pm, the same time that the 20-year-old victim was gunned down while pushing her baby in a stroller through the area.
NYC Council Member Julie Menin, whose district covers the Upper East Side area where Ms Johnson was shot and killed, welcomed community members to come to the vigil in a post on Twitter.
“Please join us tonight for a candlelight vigil at 8:30pm on East 95th street between Lexington and Third Ave as our community mourns the tragic fatal shooting of a young mother,"Twitret hun.
Victim is remembered as aspiring nurse and ‘best’ mother to two children
An aspiring nurse and young mother-of-two was identified as the woman who was shot dead at point-blank range while pushing her baby in a stroller through the Upper East Side.
Azsia Johnson, 20, died on Wednesday night after she reportedly planned to meet up with the father of her three-month-old infant.
Ms Johnson’s mother Lisa Desort said her daughter had been the victim of domestic violence by her baby’s father and that the family had filed multiple reports to the police – but that authorities had failed to protect her.
Ms Desort told Fox News that she was “the best mother” to her two children – aged three months and two years old – and had dreams of being a pediatric nurse,
“She had been working since she was 16, and she took care of people. She was the best mother," hun sa. “My daughter did not deserve this.”
Den uavhengige’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:
Azsia Johnson, 20, died on Wednesday night after she reportedly planned to meet up with the father of her three-month-old baby
Children at nearby playground witnessed shooting
Young children witnessed the horrific shooting while they were enjoying a summer evening at a nearby playground.
The shooting unfolded at around 8.23pm on Wednesday near Lexington Avenue and 95th Street just steps from the Samuel Seabury Playground.
One 10-year-old girl who was there with her brother and aunt told DailyMail.com she heard a loud “boom” and saw a woman fall.
Først, she thought it might be fireworks before she realised it was a gunshot.
“I was really confused, because I thought maybe this was fireworks. But then I realized that no, this is serious and that there was a gunshot," hun sa.
“And it really frightened me because I was right there at the park playing and I never would have ever thought that would happen.
“I saw a lot of people running, and I saw a woman down there, she fell.”
La hun til: “I was worried but then I wanted to stay calm, because I didn’t want any interaction, and I didn’t want anything else to happen.”
Mayor Eric Adams slams gun violence ‘epidemic’
New York City Mayor Eric Adams slammed the gun violence “epidemic” which he blamed for the execution-style murder of the 20-year-old mother at a time.
At a press conference on Wednesday night with other city leaders at the scene of the shooting, he hit out at the “over-proliferation of guns” and the “dangerous people that repeatedly leave our criminal justice system”.
“More guns in our city means more lives lost," han sa.
“It means more babies crying, as those who love them lie dead.”
Han la til: “These are real stories, real lives. When a woman is pushing a baby carriage down the block and is shot in point blank range, it shows just how this national problem is impacting families.
“It doesn’t matter if you are on the Upper East Side or East New York, Brooklyn.”
The mayor, a former NYPD officer, said that the violent slaying came just hours after New York officials had spent the day working to tackle gun violence in the city.
På onsdag, Mr Adams announced the city was filing lawsuits against ghost gun retailers.
The mayor also met with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand about tackling gun trafficking.
i mellomtiden, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that state lawmakers were working on a gun control bill to ban people from carrying firearms in many places.
The steps come amid a surge in gun violence across both New York and the wider US and after the Supreme Court loosened gun control in a ruling last Thursday.