Young Mom Gunned Down in NYC Made Multiple Domestic Violence Complaints

·3 min read
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The young mom fatally shot Wednesday night on Manhattan’s Upper East Side while pushing her 3-month-old baby in a stroller was a high school track runner who hoped to become a nurse, according to relatives.

Azsia Johnson, 20, was gunned down near the corner of Lexington Ave. and 95th Street at around 8:23 p.m, authorities said. Responding officers found Johnson unconscious, and she was taken by ambulance to nearby Metropolitan Hospital. Doctors pronounced Johnson dead at 9:19 p.m., a senior law enforcement official told The Daily Beast. The child was uninjured.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the unknown assailant, who was wearing a black hoodie and sweatpants, walked away from the scene towards 3rd Ave. after shooting Johnson once in the head at point blank range. Johnson was planning to meet the baby’s father that night, her family reportedly told police. No suspects have yet been publicly identified.

Woman Pushing Stroller Shot Dead on New York City’s Upper East Side: Cops

Johnson, a Bronx resident who lived previously on Staten Island, had filed at least two domestic violence complaints against more than one man over the past two years, according to the law enforcement official. An NYPD public information officer did not immediately respond to a request Thursday afternoon for additional details.

However, the shooting is being considered a “domestic” incident, with one of Johnson’s exes now under the microscope as a person of interest in her murder, police sources told the New York Post.

“She was targeted. It was a close head shot and there were powder burns,” one source told the Post.

The Daily Beast was unable to reach Johnson’s mother, Lisa Desort, Thursday afternoon. Johnson’s father, who lives in Texas, according to public records, did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. But Desort told the Post in a text message that her daughter was “an exceptional young lady” who “worked hard and had dreams of becoming a pediatric nurse in the near future.”

An ex-boyfriend allegedly assaulted Johnson six months ago, while she was pregnant with his child, Desort said. The man then continued to stalk and threaten Johnson, who contacted the police but said cops failed to make any arrests.

“She worked to the end of her pregnancy,” Desort told NBC New York. “She was on maternity leave with this baby. He kept harassing her, and threatening my life and my younger daughter’s life.”

Desort told the outlet that a detective told Johnson the alleged conduct did not add up to a crime.

Johnson had been “in and out of the shelter system over the last year,” the paper reported, citing law enforcement sources and a neighbor of Johnson’s.

“Last night someone came and told her mother…and she just started screaming, ‘My baby’s dead, my baby’s dead!’ … then they all left,” the unidentified neighbor said. “Azsia just had that baby three months ago. She’s a beautiful little girl.”

A Lexus SUV parked near the scene of the shooting was towed away by investigators on Thursday morning, with what looked like a bullet hole above the right front wheel. The owner, 62-year-old Julio Cruz, told the Post he hopes “they find something that will help this case.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, himself a former cop, said at a press conference that last night’s shooting “shows just how this national problem is impacting families and doesn’t matter if you are on the Upper East Side or East New York, Brooklyn… We’re going to find this person that is guilty of this horrific crime. We’re going to find him and bring him to justice.”

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