The mother and sister of Sasha Johnson who was shot in the head last summer have released a harrowing image of the equal rights activist in her hospital bed.
Ms Johnson, who has two young sons, was hit by a bullet and left with catastrophic and permanent injuries when four masked men stormed into a party in Peckham, south-east London, in May 2021.
Having initially been described as ‘critical’, Ms Johnson’s condition was last week said to be serious but stable as she continued to receive treatment in hospital.
Her mother Ellet Dalling and sister Shakira Williams spoke outside New Scotland Yard today after the criminal case against four men accused of the shooting collapsed.
In an emotional interview, Ms Dalling said: ‘She is strong, she is a fighter and she will come and tell the story of who did this to her.’
Ms Johnson, 28, is a founding member of the Taking The Initiative Party and had been a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement last summer, but there was no suggestion that the shooting was targeted.
She was hit by a bullet and left with catastrophic and permanent injuries when four masked men stormed into a party in Peckham, south-east London, in May 2021
The mother and sister of black equal rights activist Sasha Johnson have pledged to get justice and said she is a fighter who will recover to tell her own story
Ms Johnson, pictured with her son Cavali, was last week said to be serious but stable as she continued to receive treatment in hospital
The family of Ms Johnson, pictured alongside her son Cavali, said she is a fighter who ‘will come and tell the story of who did this to her’
Prince Dixon, 25, of Gravesend, Kent, Troy Reid, 20 of Southwark, Cameron Deriggs, 19, of Lewisham, and Devonte Brown, 19, of Southwark, had denied conspiracy to murder.
The men, who appeared by video link from Belmarsh top security prison, had also pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
A trial had been fixed for March 7 but at an Old Bailey hearing on Tuesday prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said the Crown would not be pursuing the case, for reasons that could not be set out fully in open court.
The decision followed a rare notification hearing, held behind closed doors, which can be used in cases that involve evidence from informants or listening devices.
Sasha Johnson’s sister Shakira Williams (left) and mother Ellet Dalling (right) at New Scotland Yard, London, speaking to media for first time since she was shot at a birthday party on May 25, 2021
Ms Johnson, pictured with her other son Mykell, was left with catastrophic and permanent injuries when four masked men stormed into a party in Peckham
Ms Johnson with anti-racist campaigners, community activists and school children at a protest against police violence as they march on Tottenham Police Station, in December 11, 2020
Her sister said that despite the case collapsing, the family are determined that they will get justice.
Ms Williams said: ‘One of the only things that’s kept us going is our faith.
‘We were hurt, but we had to pull ourselves together because breaking now is not it.
‘And we learned that it’s not over. This is a bump in the road.’
Her mother added: ‘We will get justice, and Sasha will come and let us get justice.’
Urging witnesses to come forward, Ms Dalling said: ‘Don’t let it happen to someone else again. Don’t go silent.
‘These people that did this to Sasha need to come off the street.
‘We need justice for Sasha. So please, I’m asking everyone at the party to come out and speak out for Sasha. We need justice.’
‘Don’t let it happen to someone else, get them off the street.’
Ms Williams said: ‘The silence is crazy, when you’re supposed to be shouting. A life. My sister. It could have been yours.’
19-year-old Cameron Deriggs (pictured in court sketch, above), Prince Dixon, 25, Troy Reid, 20 and Devonte Brown, 19, had denied conspiracy to murder. The four men smiled as they were told their Old Bailey case was going to be quashed upon review
Police officers are pictured at the scene of the house in Peckham where the shooting took place on May 23, 2021
During last week’s hearing before Mr Justice Hilliard, Mr Heywood outlined the circumstantial case against the defendants, saying the decision to drop the case had followed a careful review involving the highest level at the Crown Prosecution Service.
He said he was unable to give full reasons for the decision but had provided details to the court as to why the CPS had no option.
Outlining the case, he said it concerned a ‘deliberate shooting’ at partygoers at the rear of the address in Peckham.
Four males in balaclavas had approached the house and discharged a weapon at guests, with one round striking Ms Johnson in the head at ‘very close range’.
He said the Crown had alleged the four males were the defendants, who were known to each other.
The prosecutor made clear that there was nothing to suggest Ms Johnson was targeted because of her anti-racism campaigning and involvement in the BLM movement.
Each of the defendants had denied being part of the alleged conspiracy or present on the night of the shooting.