BLM activist Sasha Johnson in critical condition after London shooting

In this Saturday, June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, center, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London.
In this Saturday, June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, center, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London. Copyright AP Photo
By Chantal Da Silva
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A vigil for Sasha Johnson will be held in Britain's capital on Monday.


A prominent Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist is in critical condition after being shot in the head in the early hours of Sunday morning in Britain's capital.

In a statement published on social media, the Taking the Initiative political party said Sasha Johnson, a key member, was being treated in intensive care after sustaining a gunshot wound to her head.

London's Metropolitan Police have confirmed the shooting of a 27-year-old woman at around 3 am on Sunday in the area of Peckham. However, they have not confirmed Johnson as the victim.

They said the shooting unfolded near a house where a party was taking place and where a number of people may have been in the area.

While the Taking the Initiative party said the incident unfolded after Johnson had received "numerous death threats", police said that at this point, "there is nothing to suggest that the woman who was shot was the subject of a targeted attack".

They further said that they had seen no evidence to suggest that she had received "any credible threats against her prior to this incident".

Meanwhile, a friend of Johnson's has told multiple British outlets that they do not believe the activist was the intended target of the shooting and that it was likely an incident involving rival gangs.

In a statement, Detective Chief Inspector Jimi Tele urged residents to avoid speculation in the wake of the incident.

“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," he said.

Describing the shooting as a "shocking incident that has left a young woman with very serious injuries," Tele said a team of detectives has been "working tirelessly to identify the person or persons responsible for this shooting".

"They are making good progress but they need the public’s help," he said, adding: “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."

Johnson, a mother of three, is known as a powerful voice in the BLM movement. She is also a member of Taking the Initiative's Executive Leadership Committee, with the party's platform focused on "providing a voice for the British people who want to change Britain for the better".

"Sasha has always been actively fighting for black people and the injustices that surround the black community," Taking the Initiative said.

A vigil is expected to be held in support of Johnson and against senseless violence at 3 pm local time outside Kings College Hospital in London.

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