5 Held in Attempted Killing of BLM Activist

Cop says there's no indication Sasha Johnson was targeted
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2021 11:41 AM CDT
5 Held in Attempted Killing of BLM Activist
In this June 13, 2020 file photo, activist Sasha Johnson, center, attends a protest at Hyde Park in London.   (Victoria Jones/PA via AP, File)

Five males, including three teenagers, have been arrested in the shooting of a Black Lives Matter activist in London. Sasha Johnson of the Taking the Initiative Party, described as Britain's first Black-led political party, has been fighting for her life in a hospital since she was shot in the head early Sunday. The 27-year-old was one of 30 people attending a party in a backyard in Peckham when four Black males opened fire, police said. Officers now say the Tuesday arrest of a 17-year-old on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and possession with intent to supply drugs led to a search of a home, where three men aged 18, 19, and 28, were arrested on suspicion of affray and drug dealing, per the BBC. A fifth man, 25, was arrested on suspicion of affray and failing to stop for police following a chase. All five are now held on suspicion of attempted murder.

Met Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard says the "arrests show that progress is being made," per the Telegraph. "However, I would continue to appeal to those who may hold information about the events that led to Sasha receiving her horrific injuries, or about those responsible, to do the right thing and come forward and speak to police." The Taking the Initiative Party noted Johnson, an Oxford graduate and mother, was shot after receiving "numerous death threats as a result of her activism." But police say they believe she was an unintended victim of the violence, which left a man in his 20s with a superficial knife wound, per the Guardian. "Nothing has been brought to our attention that suggests Sasha was targeted," says Leonard. A prayer vigil has been set up near the hospital, where Johnson has undergone successful surgery, per the Telegraph. (More attempted murder stories.)

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