Sasha Johnson, a 27-year-old advocate and activist with the British Black Lives Matter Movement, is currently in critical condition after being shot in the head in London. According to members of the Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP), Johnson is in intensive care and that the attack happened “following numerous death threats as a result of her activism.”
London’s Metropolitan Police responded to reports of gunfire in southeast London about 3 a.m. local time Sunday morning, May 23. “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,” the TTIP said in a released statement. Johnson was transported to a south London hospital and the incident appeared to have happened near a house party in Southwark.
Police are stating that at this early stage of investigation there was no evidence to suggest a targeted attack, while detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command (Trident) are conducting its own investigation and are looking to speak with anyone who was at the party in the Consort Road area of London.
“A dedicated team of detectives [are] working tirelessly to identify the person or persons responsible for this shooting,” Detective Chief Inspector Jim Tele said. “They need the public’s help,” he added and urged other people to come forward if they witnessed anything regarding the incident.
In addition to being a member of the British Black Lives Matter organization and the TTIP, which has been called “Britain’s first Black-led political party,” Johnson also works to deliver food and groceries to families in need, according to the party. A vigil in her name will be held Monday afternoon, May 24, outside of Kings’ College Hospital in south London. The event is meant to “show support for her recovery and [to] take a stand against senseless violence.” To showcase how shocking the shooting was, Claudia Webbe, a member of Parliament for Leicester East, took to Twitter to express her “love and solidarity” to Johnson’s family and friends.
“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 [and] neighbourhoods,” she wrote in a separate tweet. “The bullet does not discriminate in its effect. But too many women become collateral damage in this ‘culture of fear’.”