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.
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:
What we know so far
A 20-year-old mother was fatally shot in Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Tuesday night while out for a walk with her months-old child.
As of 10am Wednesday, the suspect is still at large.
The Independent’s Johanna Chisholm has more:
The gunman reportedly fired one fatal shot into the back of the 20-year-old’s head, police said
Victim’s identity not publicly released
The identity of the victim has not been released to the public.
Police said they have identified the woman but are yet to notify her next of kin.
She is 20 years old and is believed to be the infant’s mother.
No suspects identified
No suspects have been identified in the execution-style murder of a mother pushing her baby in a stroller on the Upper East Side on Wednesday night.
An NYPD spokesperson told The Independent that, as of 10am Thursday morning, there are no suspects in the brutal crime.
“That could change at any moment,” the spokesperson said.
Mother was living at woman’s shelter: police source
The woman shot and killed on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Wednesday night was living at a nearby woman’s shelter, according to a law enforcement official.
The police source told CNN the 20-year-old mother was temporarily staying at the shelter in East Harlem – blocks from the scene where she was shot dead by 95th Street and Lexington Avenue.
It is not clear how long the victim had been staying there or what circumstances led her to seek shelter there.
Person of interest identified and domestic violence being investigated
A person of interest has been identified in the shooting of the 20-year-old mother in the Upper East Side with police investigating a possible motive of domestic violence.
New York City Council Member Julia Menin gave an update of the case on Twitter on Thursday.
“Breaking Update: @NYPD19Pct has informed us that they have a Person of Interest in the shooting of the mother last night in my district,” she tweeted.
“Domestic violence is being investigated.”
No one in police custody despite person of interest being identified
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed to The Independent that there is a person of interest in the case but that no one has been taken into police custody at this time.
Police would not release the man’s identity or confirm whether or not they knew his whereabouts.
The man’s connection to the victim is currently unclear.
Victim is named in domestic incident reports
The victim of the shooting has previously been involved in domestic incidents, according to a law enforcement official.
The police source told CNN that investigators learned details about the mother and her three-month-old child from domestic incident reports where her name appears.
As well as the mother’s name, the reports also include the names of former boyfriends and a second child who was not with the victim at the time of the shooting.
No further details were released about the domestic incidents on record.
It is not clear if the person of interest is named in the reports.
What do we know about the gunman
The shooter was described as a male dressed in all-black clothing, including black sweatpants and a black hooded sweatshirt.
Police said the suspect left the scene on foot along 95th Street.
Victim’s mother says suspect is baby’s father
The victim’s mother has said the suspect in her daughter’s killing is the father of the three-month-old baby who witnessed her being shot at point-blank range.
Lisa Desort’s 20-year-old daughter was pushing her infant child in a stroller through the Upper East Side when she was brutally murdered.
Ms Desort told Fox News that the baby’s father – who has not been publicly named – is the suspected gunman and had made multiple threats to her daughter, her other daughter and herself in the past.
Another source also told the outlet that the baby’s father was the person of interest currently wanted by investigators.