A London-based Black Lives Matter activist, Sasha Johnson, is in “critical condition” after she was shot in the head over the weekend, according to her political 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,” the left-wing Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP), her political party, said in a statement. “She is currently in intensive care and in a critical condition.”
TTIP alleged that she was shot “following numerous death threats as a result of her activism,” and it noted that Johnson, a mother of three children, is “both a member of BLM and a member of Taking the Initiative Party’s Executive Leadership Committee.”
London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed in a news release that a woman was shot in London’s Southwark neighborhood at around 3 a.m. on Sunday “in the vicinity of a house where a party was taking place.” It’s not clear if she was attending the party.
The Metropolitan Police also appeared to dispute TTIP’s suggestion that she was targeted in the shooting due to her political viewpoints or Black Lives Matter activism.
“There is nothing to suggest it was a targeted attack or that the woman had received any credible threats against her before this incident,” the department said, according to the statement. The Metropolitan Police didn’t name her.
Imarn Ayton, a friend of Johnson, told ITV that it’s likely that she was shot in an incident that was “more related to rival gangs” in the area.
“I do believe that it was a party and there was some type of dispute between two individuals or two gangs, and it was wrong place, wrong time,” Ayton continued, adding that she doesn’t “believe [Johnson] was the intended victim.”
Ayton continued to say: “I can’t speculate, I wasn’t there. Again, just based off of the information that I’ve been given from closer friends and family, as far as we are aware, she was at a party or some sort of gathering and this incident is more related to rival gangs as opposed to her activism, let’s just say that.”
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command are conducting an investigation and want to speak with individuals who were at the party.
“A dedicated team of detectives is working tirelessly to identify the person or persons responsible for this shooting,” said Detective Chief Inspector Jim Tele, reported CNN.