At a vigil on Thursday evening organized by Council Member Julie Menin, community members and elected officials gathered on the Upper East Side to mourn the death of Azsia Johnson, 20, who was walking her baby daughter in a stroller on East 95th Street and Lexington Avenue last Wednesday evening when a gunman fatally shot her in the head.
What initially appeared to be the latest episode of indiscriminate gun violence in NYC may have been personally directed: “We strongly believe it was not a random shooting. The victim was targeted,” Mayor Eric Adams said on Thursday, as reported in the New York Times.
According to the Times, police were “looking at the killing as a potential incident of domestic violence” and reported that the victim’s mother, Lisa DeSort, said her daughter had endured physical abuse from a partner.
The vigil that Menin organized was attended by Adams, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Jerry Nadler and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.
“Our community is mourning the loss of 20-year-old Azsia Johnson in a brutal murder last night on East 95th Street between 3rd and Lexington Avenues,” Menin wrote in an email to the community. “It is unfathomable that such a senseless act of violence could happen with a mother pushing her baby in a stroller in front of a school and park.”
After the event, Levine tweeted: “Tonight we came together to mourn the loss of Azsia Johnson, murdered last night on E.95th St while pushing her daughter in a stroller. Azsia’s mother Lisa shared her unbearable pain. We are united in demanding an end to the twin scourges of domestic violence and gun violence.”