Five men have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the shooting of Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson on Sunday morning.
The Taking The Initiative Party leader was reportedly facing numerous death threats ahead of the attack that left her in critical condition, CNN reported. London police arrested five men between the ages of 17 and 28 for other alleged offenses, including possession of drugs and weapons, before all five were arrested in connection with the shooting of Johnson, according to NPR.
A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon and possession with the intent to supply class A drugs, Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard revealed on Wednesday. Three additional men–ages 18, 19, and 28–were arrested and charged with suspicion of affray (a group fight) and possession with intent to supply class B drugs. A fifth man, age 25, was arrested on suspicion of affray and failing to stop for police.
“While the investigation remains in its early stages, these arrests show that progress is being made,” Leonard said. “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.”
London police and a friend of Johnson’s believe the facts don’t point to any signs that she was targeted in the attack despite the recent death threats the Taking the Initiative Party said Johnson had received related to her activism.
Johnson was attending the house party when four Black males entered and discharged the firearm that left the mother of three critically wounded, BBC reported. The suspects remain in police custody as Johnson fights for her life.
Johnson became a prominent figure within the Black Lives Matter protests in London after the movement spread across the globe following the death of George Floyd. The Taking the Initiative Party is credited with being the UK’s first Black-led political party, with Johnson serving as a leader within the movement.