Police hunt ‘four young black men’ over shooting of Sasha Johnson


Sasha Johnson was shot in the head by a gang of four young black men who stormed into the garden of a Peckham all-day party and opened fire – but the BLM activist was not the intended target, Scotland Yard said today.

Commander Alison Heydari has made an appeal for anyone who knows the identity of the shooters to come forward and help police ‘bring them to justice’ as the mother-of-two fights for her life in hospital.

The self-styled ‘Black Panther of Oxford’, 27, who called for the police to be defunded after the murder of George Floyd in the US last summer, is fighting for her life in hospital following the attack in south-east London in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Speaking outside Scotland Yard today Commander Heydari said: ‘We have established that she was in a party in Peckham. At about 3am a group of four black men dressed in dark clothing entered the garden of the property and discharged a firearm. They had left the scene before officers arrived.

‘We’re aware of Sasha’s involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement and the concern this will cause some communities. But at this time we have no information that suggests that she was subject to a targeted attack. We’re also not aware of any threats to her life prior to this incident’. 

She added: ‘This was a shocking incident that has left a young woman with very serious injuries.Our thoughts are with the family of Sasha Johnson who are being supported by specially trained officers. We have a team of detectives trying to find those responsible. The suspects are black, men and were in dark clothing. There is no suggestion they knew Sasha. There is someone out there who knows who carried out this attack and these people do not deserve their protection’. 

The Met spoke out after Miss Johnson’s political party and Labour’s Diane Abbott have been accused of ‘inflaming divides’ by insisting she may have been shot because she ‘stood up for racial justice’. 

And Sasha’s Taking the Initiative Party, whose leader has demanded the police are defunded, has refused to believe Met assurances alleged death threats weren’t credible as they described receiving emails and social media messages from people ‘celebrating Sasha’s attack, messages wishing she dies, calling her a racist, and wishing better luck to the shooter next time for not killing her’. They held a vigil in the park next to the South London hospital where she is in a critical condition.

 In a lengthy statement first published on Instagram, the party said: ‘The irony is in the fact that the police have stated there is no clear evidence that Sasha was the target of the attack, and that there are no credible death threats made towards her; however, how have the police come to this conclusion without being able to speak to Sasha regarding the death threats and investigate? 

‘Do the police know who the target of the attack was, in order to conclude that Sasha wasn’t? How does one manage to shoot someone in the head accidentally? Surely, to end up in hospital having sustained a bullet shot to the head, makes a death threat more credible.’ 

Sasha Johnson from the Rhodes Must Fall campaign speaks at Parliament Square in London last July. She is in a critical condition in hospital today after being shot in the head at a house party

Sasha Johnson from the Rhodes Must Fall campaign speaks at Parliament Square in London last July. She is in a critical condition in hospital today after being shot in the head at a house party. Met Commander Alison Heydari insists there is no evidence she was the target of the hit

Sasha Johnson, at a meeting point in Hyde Park in London during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in June 2020

Sasha Johnson, at a meeting point in Hyde Park in London during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in June 2020

Four black men, dressed in dark clothing, entered the garden and opened fire, hitting Sasha in the head. Police don't believe she was the intended victim

Four black men, dressed in dark clothing, entered the garden and opened fire, hitting Sasha in the head. Police don’t believe she was the intended victim 

A vigil held in Ruskin Park, South London by friends and supporters of Sasha Johnson

A vigil held in Ruskin Park, South London by friends and supporters of Sasha Johnson

No evidence Sasha was the target, says Met

The Met has again denied that Sasha Johnson was the intended target of the shooting. 

Commander Alison Heydari said: This was a shocking incident that has left a young woman with very serious injuries.

‘Our thoughts are with the family of Sasha Johnson who are being supported by specially trained officers.

‘A dedicated team of detectives are working tirelessly to identify the person – or people – responsible for the shooting.

‘They are making good progress but they need the public’s help.

‘From our enquiries so far, we have established that Sasha had been at a party at a house on Consort Road in Peckham early on Sunday morning.

‘Around 3am a group of four black males dressed in dark coloured clothing entered the garden of the property and discharged a firearm. They had left the scene before officers arrived.

‘We are aware of Sasha’s involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK and I understand the concern this will cause to some communities – however I wish to stress that at this time there is nothing to suggest Sasha was the victim of a targeted attack.

‘We are also not aware of any reports of threats made against her prior to this incident.

‘I want to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are doing everything possible to identify those responsible and to bring them to justice.

‘Tackling violent crime on the streets of London is a top priority for the Met, and the people of London have a vital role to play in that.

‘If you have any information about the events of Sunday morning we need you to contact police immediately by calling 101. You can also report information anonymously to Crimestoppers online on by calling 0800 555 111’.  

TTIP also slammed Imarn Ayton, founder of the UK Black Reformist Movement, for telling the BBC that the attack was as a result of gang crime rather than a hate crime or a targeted attack. The party claimed Ms Ayton is not a friend of Ms Johnson’s and ‘had no authority to give a statement on the incident’.

Ms Ayton had said Ms Johnson, famed for wearing black military uniform at protests including a stab-proof-style vest, was caught up in a dispute between two rival gangs – and was not shot because of her activism. 

‘It was wrong place, wrong time. I do not believe she was the target’, she said. 

Around 50 people held a vigil for Ms Johnson and said prayers under a bandstand in Ruskin Park, Lambeth as one friend said: ‘She is a light in the darkness and she continues to shine’ and added they had been ‘blessed’ by her smile as they chanted for her.

Online activist page Justice for Black Lives asked supporters to ‘show support for her recovery’ and ‘take a stand against senseless violence’ at the event, while photos showed supporters crying and embracing each other as they gathered outside.    

One neighbour in south-east London earlier told MailOnline that she heard ‘two shots’ and then the sound of ‘screeching’ tyres at around 3am on Sunday. Forensics teams have sealed off the property and are searching the area for bullet casings and the weapon. 

Ms Ayton told the BBC: ‘As far as we’re aware she [Sasha] was at a party and there was a rival gang that may have heard about a person being there that they didn’t feel comfortable with, or trusted, so they resorted to driving past and shooting into a garden. And one of those shots obviously hit Sasha Johnson. But I don’t believe she was the intended target’. 

She added: ‘This incident is more related to rival gangs than to her activism’, adding she believed there was ‘some kind of dispute between two different groups’. 

Sasha is in a critical condition in hospital after emergency surgery as police hunt for the gunman after the Met insisted there is nothing to suggest it was a targeted attack on her. Photographs of the crime scene show a large marquee and several gazebos were put up in the back garden for the party. 

The lawn is still covered in discarded drinks bottles and what appears to be blue medical gloves and PPE.

A neighbour, who lives near the house, told MailOnline: ‘I heard two shots. There was about three seconds between each one and I heard a car screeching off. 

‘A woman then screamed and shouted the word ‘help’. I was too frightened to look out the window. My husband is blind and he was really worried about what was going on too, he was almost having a panic attack. I knew they were gunshots straight away. It’s terrifying that a shooting can happen virtually on my doorstep.’  

Police investigating the shooting of Sasha Johnson have recovered a mountain bike. 

A local said: ‘I came out of my house about 8.30am on Sunday and the police had sealed off the road. There was a dark coloured mountain bike left on the street behind the police tape. 

‘The officers then took it away. I don’t know what significance it holds. 

‘The shooting followed an all day party at one of the houses by the railway arch. My daughter walked past it about 4pm on Saturday and apparently it continued until late on into the night. ‘I didn’t hear any shots or any shouting. The first I knew that something had happened was when I stepped out of my front door to go out.’    

Taking the Initiative Party has cast doubt on police claims as they described having received emails and social media messages 'celebrating Sasha's attack, messages wishing she dies, calling her a racist, and wishing better luck to the shooter next time for not killing her'

Taking the Initiative Party has cast doubt on police claims as they described having received emails and social media messages 'celebrating Sasha's attack, messages wishing she dies, calling her a racist, and wishing better luck to the shooter next time for not killing her'

Taking the Initiative Party has cast doubt on police claims as they described having received emails and social media messages ‘celebrating Sasha’s attack, messages wishing she dies, calling her a racist, and wishing better luck to the shooter next time for not killing her’

Police have sealed off the property and put up metal shutters to block access to the front garden, where Sasha is most likely to have been hit by a bullet meant for someone else

Police have sealed off the property and put up metal shutters to block access to the front garden, where Sasha is most likely to have been hit by a bullet meant for someone else

A police officer is guarding the back garden, with what appears to be blue medical gloves and PPE, probably used by paramedics treating Miss Johnson, discarded on the lawn

A police officer is guarding the back garden, with what appears to be blue medical gloves and PPE, probably used by paramedics treating Miss Johnson, discarded on the lawn

In a statement on Instagram, TTIP 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'

In a statement on Instagram, TTIP 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’

Sasha Johnson, co-organiser of the Million People March, pictured during a demo in Notting Hill, London, has been shot in the head and is fighting for her life in what appears to be a drive-by shooting caused by a row by two rival gangs in Peckham

Sasha Johnson, co-organiser of the Million People March, pictured during a demo in Notting Hill, London, has been shot in the head and is fighting for her life in what appears to be a drive-by shooting caused by a row by two rival gangs in Peckham

The Metropolitan Police said initially they are investigating after a woman in her 20s was shot in Peckham, in the capital's south-east, at 3am. It was later confirmed that the victim was Ms Johnson, 26. No arrests have been made

The Metropolitan Police said initially they are investigating after a woman in her 20s was shot in Peckham, in the capital’s south-east, at 3am. It was later confirmed that the victim was Ms Johnson, 26. No arrests have been made

Snapchat footage emerged showing how the area was swamped by police and crowds outside the property in the aftermath of the shooting

Snapchat footage emerged showing how the area was swamped by police and crowds outside the property in the aftermath of the shooting

Snapchat footage emerged showing how the area was swamped by police and crowds outside the property in the aftermath of the shooting

Did YOU see the incident? 

Email: tips@dailymail.com 

Forensics officers have sealed off an area of the street outside a large Victorian property next to one of the area’s famous railway arches, with that section of Cors  

Ms Johnson, a mother-of-two Oxford Brookes graduate who rose to prominence after organising BLM protests last summer, is said to be currently in intensive care and in a critical condition in a South London hospital following the attack.  

The Taking the Initiative Party, which Ms Johnson founded, said she had previously received death threats as a result of her BLM campaigning. 

In a statement, the TTIP wrote: ‘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. 

‘Sasha is also a mother of 3 and a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community.

‘Let’s all come together and pray for Sasha, pray for her recovery and show our support to her family and loved ones. #prayforsashajohnson’. 

As well as her activism, Ms Johnson has worked as a youth worker and cafe owner. 

Police said the Peckham shooting occurred in the vicinity of a house where a party was taking place and that a number of people may have been in the area. Officers said there is ‘nothing to suggest’ that the woman shot there was the subject of a targeted attack. 

Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson is in a critical condition after sustaining a gunshot wound to her head, Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP) has said

Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson is in a critical condition after sustaining a gunshot wound to her head, Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP) has said 

Officers remain at the site of the shooting this morning with Consort Road in SE15 still sealed off with red tape

Officers remain at the site of the shooting this morning with Consort Road in SE15 still sealed off with red tape

The radical BLM campaigner who has called for a ‘race offenders register’ and marched in military-style outfit 

June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London

June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London

Ms Johnson played a leading role in the summer BLM protests, including the Million People March, and rose to notoriety shortly before when videos showed her confronting a black man she was arguing with and repeatedly calling him the racial slur ‘c**n’. 

The 27-year-old is now an executive committee member of the new BLM-inspired Taking the Initiative Party, in charge of activism. 

She is also a UK representative of the Black Panthers Party –  modelled on a far-Left sub-set of protesters who campaigned against police brutality in 1960s America.  

Ms Johnson, an Oxford Brookes graduate, has campaigned for statues to be removed and is part of the secretive group Forever Family Force. 

Footage on Instagram shows her parading with female FFF members in military-style garb during a march in Brixton earlier this year for African Emancipation Day.

Ms Johnson, a youth worker and cafe owner, has called for the establishment of a ‘black militia’ in the UK. In a video posted in July, she compared the police to the Ku Klux Klan and dismissed ethnic minority politicians David Lammy, Priti Patel and Sadiq Khan as ‘tokenistic’.

The mother of two also led chants of ‘f*** the police’ and ‘one solution, revolution’ in a fresh campaign to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford University.  

BLM UK tweeted in solidarity with the activist on Sunday and said they would be holding a vigil outside the hospital in south London on Monday at 3pm.

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

Ms Webbe said: ‘We were all out last year for Black Lives Matter. I only know her as an activist on these issues of Black Lives Matter. I support Black Lives Matter and therefore support what she was doing.

‘As a member of Parliament I stand in full solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and I stand with her work in the Black Lives Matter movement.’

Police have so far refused to confirm the Peckham incident is the one involving Ms Johnson, nor have they speculated as to a motive for it or issued any description of a suspect. 

In the Peckham incident, police said detectives from the Met’s ‘Specialist Crime Command (Trident)’ are leading the investigation. They said there was a ‘significant police presence in the area as enquiries continue and a number of roads are currently closed’. 

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.

‘A dedicated team of detectives is working tirelessly to identify the person or persons responsible for this shooting. They are making good progress but they need the public’s help. 

‘If you saw anything suspicious in the Consort Road area in the early hours of Sunday morning or if you have heard information since that could help detectives, it is crucial that you get in touch.

‘Finally, I recognise that this incident will have shocked those in the local community and further afield. 

‘I would ask people to avoid speculating as to the motive or the circumstances behind it.

‘If anyone does have information, the most responsible and helpful action is to share it with the police or, to remain anonymous, with Crimestoppers.’

Officers said anybody with information could call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC providing the reference CAD1172/23MAY. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Ms Johnson came to prominence as an organiser of the BLM protests last summer, where she was seen addressing crowds while wearing camouflage trousers, a black beret and a stab-proof-style vest. 

She has called for a ‘race offenders’ register’ that would see people barred from jobs based on having been accused of ‘micro-aggressions’ in the workplace, saying the list would be ‘similar’ to the sex offenders’ register – which is used to bar paedophiles from professions like teaching. 

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline late last year, Ms Johnson called for a ‘race offenders’ register’ that would see people barred from jobs based on having been accused of ‘micro-aggressions’ in the workplace.

She came to prominence as an organiser of the BLM protests earlier this year, where she was seen addressing crowds while wearing camouflage trousers, a black beret and a stab-proof-style vest.

She explained the racial offenders list would be ‘similar’ to the sex offenders’ register – which is used to bar paedophiles from professions like teaching.

She also called for ‘Holocaust-style’ reparations for black people on the basis that capitalism racially discriminates against them, called for the ‘defunding’ of Britain’s police forces and attacked ethnic minority politicians such as Labour MPs David Lammy and Diane Abbott, saying ‘as black people… they have been tokenistic’.

Ms Johnson, who is a TTIP executive committee member in charge of activism, said TTIP was ‘not just a party for black people’ and would also represent the working class.

Sasha Johnson, at a meeting point in Hyde Park in London during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in June 2020

Sasha Johnson, at a meeting point in Hyde Park in London during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in June 2020

The party operates a system of ‘coalition leadership’ so there is no one specific person in charge and different spokesmen sometimes air views that contradict the official party line. 

Outlining the party’s manifesto in what was her first interview with a national publication, she called for a national register of alleged racists that would ban them from living near people from ethnic minorities.

‘Brutally attacked’: The statement from her party 

‘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. 

Ms Johnson founded the Taking The initiative Party

Ms Johnson founded the Taking The initiative Party 

‘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. 

‘Sasha is also a mother of 3 and a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community. 

‘Let’s all come together and pray for Sasha, pray for her recovery and show our support to her family and loved ones. #prayforsashajohnson.’

This would include people guilty of ‘micro-aggressions’, which the Oxford Dictionary defines as ‘indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalised group’.

‘It’s similar to the sex offenders register,’ she told MailOnline. ‘If you were to be racially abusive to someone, [the register] would question whether someone is fit enough to hold a particular job where their bias could influence another person’s life.

‘A lot of racism happens at work and places of education in a micro-aggressive way. If you exhibit an element of bias at work, you should probably receive a warning first [before later being added to the register] so people know in future that you hold these views.’

Ms Johnson said inclusion on the list would mean you could be excluded from ‘certain fields’ of employment – or even banned from living near people from ethnic minorities.

‘If you live in a majority-coloured neighbourhood you shouldn’t reside there because you’re a risk to those people – just like if a sex offender lived next to a school he would be a risk to those children,’ she said.

Ms Johnson acknowledged that the idea came as a contribution from Black Lives Matter, and it was presented to TTIP at a party conference where BLM representatives were present.

While the party does not provide a list of specific offences which would warrant inclusion on the register, its manifesto does state that anyone merely ‘accused’ of an offence would be added, as well as anyone ‘charged’ with a race crime.

The Taking the Initiative Party was formed in summer in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

The organisation previously called itself the first ‘black-led’ political party in the UK, although Ms Johnson now insists it is merely ‘black founded’.

Ms Johnson also believes that black people should be given reparations by the British Government due to the legacy of slavery and because capitalism ‘holds us down’.

She said current constraints on the national budget meant black people should not receive direct payments, but tax breaks instead.

‘Reparations can take the form of tax free periods, which would give time to build back up economic stability in black communities,’ she said.

‘We have to remember that the Jewish community received reparations for the Holocaust, and no one speaks about forgetting the Holocaust.’

Ms Johnson also discussed her views of black and minority MPs, including Labour politicians Diane Abbott and David Lammy. ‘I commend the work they attempt to do, but sometimes it’s tokenistic,’ she said.

‘Diane Abbott has a seat at the table, but it gives us no confidence she has any decision-making power, or the ability to bring those issues to the forefront.

‘How many reports, how many pieces of paper does it take before you come to the realisation that they know exactly what’s happening.’

June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London

June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London

Sasha Johnson, co-organiser of the Million People March, during a demo in London, August 2020

Sasha Johnson, co-organiser of the Million People March, during a demo in London, August 2020

She then vowed to keep articulating things that were ‘not politically correct’, ‘like saying that Diane Abbot, as a black person, has been tokenistic [and] David Lammy has been tokenistic’.

Ms Johnson also spoke in favour of ‘defunding the police’ – although the TTIP manifesto specifically excludes this.

Ms Johnson played a leading role in the summer BLM protests, including the Million People March, and rose to notoriety shortly before when videos showed her confronting a black man she was arguing with and repeatedly calling him the racial slur ‘c**n’.

In the past, her Twitter account have been suspended for tweets which discussed enslaving white people. She told us these tweets were ‘fake’ and an ‘attack from the Far Right’.

Ms Johnson has campaigned for statues to be removed and is part of the secretive group Forever Family Force.

Footage on Instagram shows her parading with female FFF members in military-style garb during a march in Brixton earlier this year for African Emancipation Day. 

Comparisons have been made with the Black Panthers, the radical far-Left protesters who wore similar uniforms as they campaigned against police brutality in 1960s America.

Ms Johnson is also the UK’s representative of a new organisation called the New Black Panthers Party and has called for the establishment of a ‘black militia’ in the UK.

In a video posted in July last year, she compared the police to the Ku Klux Klan. 

Ms Johnson also led chants of ‘f*** the police’ and ‘one solution, revolution’ in a fresh campaign to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford University. 

Did YOU see the incident in Peckham? Email: tips@dailymail.com 

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