The young mum who was shot and killed while walking her 3-month-old baby on the Upper East Side was a victim of domestic abuse – and cops are seeking to speak with the child’s father over the murder, of family and law enforcement said Thursday.
The victim, identified by her mother as 20-year-old Azsia Johnson, texted relatives that she had planned to meet her baby’s father on Wednesday evening, the sources said.
“She was targeted. It was a bullet to the head and there were powder burns,” a senior law enforcement source said.
Johnson had been assaulted by her ex-boyfriend in Jamaica, Queens, about six months ago when she was six months pregnant with their child, her heartbroken mother, Lisa Desort, told the Post.
After the altercation, Desort said the ex-boyfriend continued to “stalk” and harass her daughter. They called the police for help, but he was not arrested, she said.
“We called the police station several times to tell the [domestic violence] unit that he harassed and harassed her. Same [though] they knew what apartment he lived in, they failed to apprehend and arrest him,” the mother continued.
“The city failed to protect my daughter.”
The NYPD did not immediately return a request for comment. Law enforcement sources confirmed that Johnson had previously been the victim of a domestic violence incident and that his shooting death was “domestic” in nature.
Investigators are looking to speak with the ex about the murder and he is considered a person of interest in the murder, the sources said.
At around 8:25 p.m. Wednesday evening, Johnson was walking her baby in a carriage near the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 95th Street when an assailant dressed in a black hoodie and sweatpants shot her in the head and escaped.
She was taken to Metropolitan Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The child was unharmed.
Desort, who was too distraught to speak on the phone, called her daughter an “exceptional young woman” with big dreams in a text message.
“She worked hard and dreamed of becoming a pediatric nurse in the near future,” Desort wrote.
Johnson lived with his mother and sisters in an apartment in the Bronx, but had been in and out of the shelter system for the past year, according to law enforcement sources and a neighbor in the building.
“Last night someone came and said to her mum…and she just started screaming, ‘my baby is dead, my baby is dead!’…and then they all left,” said the neighbor, who did not want to share his name.
“Azsia just had this baby three months ago. She’s a beautiful little girl.
On Thursday morning, officers were seen towing a Lexus SUV with an apparent bullet hole above the right front wheel well that had been parked overnight near the scene of the shooting.
The owner of the vehicle, Julio Cruz, 62, hopes this will help cops find the killer.
“The officer said the hole in my car was the size of a bullet and the bullet was probably still inside the car,” Cruz told the Post, adding that he hadn’t seen the hole Wednesday afternoon.
“They are going to inspect the car and try to find the bullet…I hope they find something that will help this case.”
New York Post