A woman who was fatally shot execution-style while she was pushing her infant in a stroller in New York City has been identified as a domestic abuse victim who was abused by the baby’s father – and police are wanting to speak to him.
Azsia Johnson, 20, was identified by her mother as the woman shot dead on a sidewalk on Wednesday night around 8.23pm at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 95th Street in the exclusive neighborhood of the Upper East Side, across the street from a playground filled with children.
Lisa Desort told The New Post that her daughter was assaulted by the baby’s father about six months ago while pregnant with his child. He ‘stalked’ and ‘harassed’ Johnson following the incident, prompting them to call police, Desort said. But he wasn’t arrested, she added. Now, the baby’s father is wanted for questioning, police sources say.
‘The city was supposed to be protecting her,’ Lisa Desort told Fox News as she broke down in tears. ‘This is a domestic violence case from January. We called the precinct.’
A person of interest was identified and the NYPD is probing a domestic violence link in the fatal shooting, according to City Council member Julie Menin, who represents the area, said on Twitter.
The baby’s father has not been named a suspect in the women’s killing. Police are trying to locate him for questioning, police sources told New York Daily News.
A person of interest has been identified and the NYPD is probing a domestic violence link in the execution-style shooting of a mother, 20, who was pushing three-month-old baby in stroller in Upper East Side
Desort sobbed as she told Fox News that they had called police numerous times for protection.
‘All that anyone needs to know in this city is we called numerous times for her protection,’ Desort said. ‘No one protected my daughter, and now she’s dead.’
The 20-year-old victim was walking with her three-month-old baby when the hooded shooter approached her and ‘fired a single shot into her head from a very close range,’ NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell told reporters at a press conference held Wednesday night.
The victim’s mother says the suspected shooter, who immediately fled on foot following the shooting and remains at large, is the father of the child the victim was pushing in the stroller when she was shot.
Police sources told the New York Daily News that the young mother had texted relatives saying she was planning to meet up with her child’s father the night she was killed, so they could talk things out. She had reportedly been assaulted by him while pregnant and wasn’t sure if she wanted him in her life.
‘It appears she was targeted, not a stray bullet,’ a police source said of the shooting. ‘Close contact wound to the head. She had powder burns on her head, to show you how close he was.’
It’s not clear if recent alleged assaults were reported to the police, but the victim’s mother claims they called for help ‘numerous’ times.
‘He threatened me with death, my daughter with death, and my other daughter with death,’ Desort said. ‘We called the precinct numerous times.’
Desort said her daughter, who aspired to be a pediatric nurse, had everything going for her.
‘She had been working since she was 16, and she took care of people. She was the best mother,’ she said through tears. ‘My daughter did not deserve this.’
Julio Cruz, 62, father of two, told DailyMail.com he had left his car in the area because there was no parking where he lives. But when he went to move his car, he found it was part of a murder investigation
A hole from where a bullet punctured an SUV belonging to Cruz, who moved from Texas to the city with his family for work two weeks ago. They said they had heard of this kind of news happening in New York, but didn’t think it would happen so close
A Texas man who recently moved to New York with his family said he had heard about the escalating crime in the city, but never thought it would happen so close to home – until he discovered his SUV riddled with bullets and being towed from the scene of the Upper East Side shooting.
Julio Cruz, 62, father of two, told DailyMail.com he had left his car in the area because there was no parking where he lives. But when he went to move his car, he found it was part of a murder investigation.
‘I came today to move the car and [to my surprise] they were moving my car,’ he said. ‘The officer told me the bullet is into the car and they took it to inspection it. And I need to pick up my car, I don’t know.’
Cruz, who moved from Texas to the city with his family for work two weeks ago, said they had heard of this kind of news happening in New York.
‘Look, in Texas, as well as everywhere else, you hear about these kind of news that happen in New York,’ he said. ‘Me and my family came for work. But you never think it’s going to happen so close to you. We heard before moving here, about crimes in the subway and everywhere in the city, but you just don’t think it will happen to you.’
Julio Cruz, 62, father of two, found his SUV riddled with bullets on the UES a day after the fatal shooting of a young mother
The Manhattan neighborhood is the most affluent in New York, with average house prices at an eye-watering $1.5million and private school fees exceeding $58,000 per year
The Manhattan neighborhood is the most affluent in New York, with average house prices at an eye-watering $1.5million and private school fees exceeding $58,000 per year.
Horrified children at the nearby playground witnessed the horrific shooting, and one girl described hearing a loud ‘boom’ that she quickly realized was a gunshot.
Mayor Eric Adams blamed the shooting on the ‘over-proliferation of guns’ and said that criminals have ‘no fear in using these guns on innocent New Yorkers.’
The shooting comes four days after President Joe Biden signed into law a legislation that marks some of the biggest changes to federal gun law in decades.
The execution-style killing occurred across the street from the Samuel Seabury Playground (above), which was filled with children who witnessed the horrific shooting
‘Lives will be saved,’ Biden said during the signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
‘From Columbine to Sandy Hook to Charleston, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, El Paso, Atlanta, Buffalo, Uvalde, and for the shootings that happen every day in the streets that are mass shootings, we don’t even hear about the number of people killed every day in the streets. Their message to us was to just something,’ the president said.
‘Today we did,’ he noted.
The new law comes in the wake of a spat of mass shootings including one at a grocery store in Buffalo where 10 black people were killed and one at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 17 children and two teachers died.
Biden conceded the legislation doesn’t have everything he wanted but ‘it does include actions I’ve long called for that are going to save lives.’
The president praised the bipartisan work on the issue.
‘It’s time when this seems impossible get anything done in Washington. We are doing something consequential,’ he said.
The day of the shooting, New York City and state officials announced lawsuits against 10 sellers of gun parts that the officials said can be assembled into untraceable ghost guns and sold without background checks.
State Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the weapons sold by online ghost gun retailers have been found at a growing share of New York’s crime scenes.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell (center) and NYC Mayor Eric Adams (right) brief the press on a shooting after a woman walking her baby was shot dead on the Upper East Side
‘These are dangerous weapons,’ Adams, a former police officer, said at a Manhattan news conference with James and other officials. ‘We should not think these are just kits used for hobbyists. They are being used by murderers. All of them are illegal.’
The shooter was described as a male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. Police offered no further description of the killer.
The woman was rushed to nearby Metropolitan Hospital, where she died within an hour. The baby was also taken to the hospital for evaluation but was unharmed.
New York City’s 19th police precinct, where the shooting occurred, is generally among the safest in the city. Last year, the precinct recorded just two murders, and until Wednesday had not seen a murder so far in 2022.
The precinct is one of the most densely populated residential areas in Manhattan, and includes the mayor’s residence, Gracie Mansion.
It also encompasses a stretch of Madison Avenue with some of the city’s most upscale shopping options.
Citywide, major crimes in New York are up 38 percent so far this year compared to last year
However, NYPD data shows that crime is on the rise in the 19th Precinct, as it is across the city.
So far this year, major crimes are up 44 percent in the precinct from the same period one year ago, with robbery up 60 percent and felony assault increasing by 23 percent.
The precinct has recorded 1,162 major crimes so far in 2022, compared to 805 incidents in the same period last year.
Citywide, major crimes in New York are up 38 percent this year compared to last year, with robbery up 39 percent, burglary rising 34 percent, and felony assault jumping 19 percent.
However, murders are down 13 percent from last year, and shooting victims have dropped 9 percent, gains that Adams and police officials attribute to a push to get illegal guns off the streets.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact NYPD detectives at 1-800-577-TIPS.
High profile shootings in NYC in 2022
January 18: A 16-year-old aspiring rapper and alleged gang member was charged with shooting a cop in the Bronx
February 27: A 38-year-old man was shot dead and his 24-year-old nephew was wounded while the pair were sitting in a Mercedes-Benz in East Harlem
April 12: A man walked onto a northbound N train on the subway, threw two smoke grenades and fired a handgun 33 times. A total of 29 people were injured.
May 2: A Virginia man visiting his cousin in New York City was shot dead in broad daylight while sitting in a parked car on the Upper West Side.
May 22: A Goldmann Sachs was shot and killed aboard a subway train in Lower Manhattan Sunday in what police called a random, unprovoked attack.
June 12: A 25-year-old man was shot in the neck in the lobby of a luxury apartment building in Long Island City.
June 29: A 20-year-old mother is fatally shot, execution-style, while rolling her three-month old baby in a stroller on the Upper East Side