The young mom fatally shot in the head as she pushed her 3-month-old baby in a stroller on the Upper East Side planned to meet up with the child’s father that night — and now cops want to question him, police sources said Thursday.
The 20-year-old victim, Azsia Johnson, had texted relating she was planning to meet with her daughter’s dad on Wednesday night so they could talk some things out, a police source said. She had been assaulted by him while pregnant and she wasn’t sure how much she wanted involved him in their child’s life, relatives told investigators.
“Domestic violence is real,” Sandra Johnson, the victim’s aunt, told the Daily News. “Women have to know that. When a man beat you, that don’t mean love.”
It’s not clear if the recent alleged assault was ever reported to cops.
“It appears she was targeted, not a stray bullet,” a police source said of the point-blank slaying. “Close contact wound to the head. She had powder burns on her head, to show you how close he was.”
The baby’s father has not been named a suspect in the woman’s killing as cops try to locate him. Nobody has been arrested for her slaying.
The young mother, who had an older child with another man, was pushing her 3-month-old in a stroller on E. 95th St. and Lexington Ave., just a few steps from the Samuel Seabury Playground, when a man dressed in black stormed up and shot her point blank in the back of the head about 8:30 pm Wednesday, cops said.
Medics rushed her to Metropolitan Hospital but she could not be saved. Khloe, the infant girl, was not harmed and was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation, police said.
Sandra Johnson called her niece “a beautiful mother,” who endowed on her children.
“We just talked yesterday and she was saying she can’t wait to do her daughter’s hair,” the aunt said sobbing. “Her kid will never know her. She didn’t deserve that.”
“it’s disgusting for him to do that to her,” Sandra Johnson said of the killer. “I watched it on the news, not knowing that was my niece. I’m so hurt, because they just came and told me.”
Mayor Adams promised the killer would be caught.
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“We strongly believe it was not a random shooting, that the victim was targeted, and the Police Department is still conducting an ongoing investigation,” Adams told reporters. “And we’re going to catch this person that’s responsible.”
Officials said Johnson was staying at a shelter near the shooting and had lived in both Staten Island and Brooklyn in the years leading up to her death.
“My niece was good in school. She loved her kids,” Sandra Johnson said. “She lived her life, and she was happy that she had a son and then a daughter. She didn’t bother nobody.”
“Mayor Adams, get these guns off the street. Do more,” she added. “This baby is gone. That’s not right. We will never be the same.”
Although the shooting happened on a city street, and drew added attention to the gun violence that has plagued the city, the murder also shined a glaring spotlight on domestic violence.
The murder stunned local residents.
“It scared me becauseI have grandkids right down the street,” said Amy Sry, 60.” My daughter has kids. When I heard it was someone pushing a stroller… That poor baby.”