Black Lives Matter activist fights for life after being shot ‘in drive-by’

23 May 2021, 22:15 | Updated: 24 May 2021, 13:16

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A Black Lives Matter activist who is fighting for life after being shot in the head in south-east London was an innocent bystander in a drive-by shooting, according to reports.

Sasha Johnson was named as the victim of a shooting in Consort Road, Peckham, by her political party, the Taking The Initiative Party (TTIP).

The party said in a statement on Instagram that she had been "brutally attacked" in the early hours of Sunday following numerous death threats, however police have said there was nothing to suggest she was targeted or had received any credible threats.

A friend, Imarn Ayton, said this morning that Ms Johnson had been at a party and was an innocent victim caught up in a drive-by shooting related to rival gangs.

She said she was now with her parents after undergoing surgery.

Sasha Johnson has been named as the victim of a shooting in London
Sasha Johnson has been named as the victim of a shooting in London. Picture: PA

Officers said a 27-year-old woman was in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Ms Johnson's party said she was a mother-of-two and hailed her as "a strong, powerful voice" in the black equal rights movement.

A statement said: "It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has been brutally attacked and sustained a gunshot wound to her head.

"She is currently in intensive care and in a critical condition. The attack happened in the early hours of this morning, following numerous death threats as a result of her activism.

"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."

Claudia Webbe, Labour MP for Leicester East, was among those who went online to express "solidarity" with Ms Johnson.

Ms Webbe said: "Shocking to hear of the gun shot to the head of Sasha Johnson; All women should be safe on our streets.

"Wishing her a full recovery. Sending love and solidarity to her family, friends and loved ones. There are still too many guns and violent weapons damaging too many lives."

She added: "When I think of the brutal shooting of Sasha Johnson it reminds me that the culture of gun violence is all-consuming affecting whole communities & neighbourhoods.

"The bullet does not discriminate in its effect. But too many women become collateral damage in this 'culture of fear'."

Ms Johnson works in activism and community support and got a first in social care at Oxford Brookes University.

Her page on the TTIP website states: "She has an immense passion for implementing change and justice and has been actively supporting the eradication of injustices in society by attending and leading protests."

The Metropolitan Police has reissued an appeal for witnesses to the shooting although they were unable to confirm if it was the incident involving Ms Johnson.

They said a woman was found after officers were called to reports of gunshots in Consort Road shortly before 3am.

Officers believe 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.

Detectives from the Met's specialist crime command (Trident) are leading the investigation.

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."

He said detectives are making "good progress" in hunting the attackers but they need help from the public.

It is "crucial" that anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area in the early hours of Sunday or who has heard information since then get in touch, he added.

Mr Tele also asked people "to avoid speculating as to the motive or the circumstances behind it."

Anybody with information about the incident is asked to call police on 101 to tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 1172/23May. To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.