Police: Mother of Azsia Johnson, mom who was fatally shot on Upper East Side, says daughter was domestic violence victim

NEW YORK — There is new information about the past history between a mother murdered on the Upper East Side and her child’s father, who is a person of interest in the case.

Police say there was a past allegation of domestic violence.

As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports, blue and white candles continued to flicker Friday in the hot sun, marking a makeshift memorial honoring the life of 20-year-old Azsia Johnson, who was murdered Wednesday evening.

“I walk on the same sidewalk every day, so I could be here,” Upper East Side resident Christine Matos said.

Johnson was shot dead on East 95th Street near Third Avenue while pushing her 3-month-old in a stroller. The newborn was unharmed.

Police say the child’s 22-year-old father is a person of interest and wanted for questioning.

READ MORE: NYPD: Killing of mother pushing daughter in stroller a targeted, domestic incident

“I need you to know that the city right now and the state failed my daughter,” the victim’s mother, Lisa Desort, said at a vigil Thursday night.

Johnson’s distraught mother says her daughter was a victim of domestic violence.

According to police, officers responded to a call in January where Johnson alleged being pushed by her child’s father while she was pregnant, saying she didn’t want the father to be in the baby’s life. Authorities say records do not indicate an order of protection was filed.

“One in four people are at some point in their lives victims of domestic violence, and one in six pregnant women are at risk of being abused during their pregnancy,” said Judy Harris Kluger, executive director for Sanctuary for Families.

While police have not linked Johnson’s case to domestic violence, Kluger says it serves as a reminder about the dangerous signs of power and control, especially for pregnant women. She detailed some warning signs.

“Your partner needs to know where you are every minute of every day, screens your phone messages, your text messages, begins to do things like pushing, shoving, threatening,” Kluger said.

For now, information is the only solace for Johnson’s family, who want to find out who did this and why.

The joint fugitive taskforce is now part of the effort to track down the newborn’s father, who has not been declared as a suspect but he is wanted for questioning in this case.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence, call the national hotline at 800-799-7233.

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