A 20-year-old mother pushing her 3-month-old child in a stroller was executed at point-blank range by a gunman wearing all black on Manhattan’s Upper East Side Wednesday, and that suspect remained on the loose Thursday, authorities say.
Cops responding to a 911 call about shots fired near Lexington Avenue and East 95th Street around 8:30 p.m. found the woman unconscious. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The NYPD identified her as Aszia Johnson.
The baby wasn’t hurt. Few details were immediately available on the Manhattan shooting. Top police officials said at a press conference late Wednesday they were looking into whether the gunman may have had a relationship with the victim or might be the child’s father, but there was no immediate confirmation of that Thursday.
Two senior NYPD officials said later Thursday they were looking to speak with the child’s father about the case, but they have not identified him as a suspect at this point. Multiple law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the case say investigators recovered surveillance video and other footage from in and around the crime scene — and they continue to canvass for evidence that may track the gunman’s movements.
The sources say already recovered video shows the gunman pacing in front of a residence right before the shooting. The shooting is not believed to be random. The gunman approached the woman from behind and shot her once in the head before taking off on foot on East 95th Street, sources said.
Whoever shot the woman, according to the NYPD, fired a single shot at her head before running off. He was last seen running eastbound on East 95th Street, the NYPD said. One shell casing was recovered at the scene, police sources said.
An initial video canvas of the area turned up some clues, the senior NYPD officials added. Surveillance captures the mother with the stroller at one point — and the presumed shooter at another, the officials said. Cameras that would have faced the exact incident spot were not immediately accessible, the officials said.