Sasha Johnson, one of the U.K.'s leading anti-racism activists, has been hospitalized in critical condition after she was shot in the head early Sunday morning in Southwark, London. Johnson's condition was confirmed by Britain's Taking the Initiative Party, where she sits as a member of the group's Executive Leadership Committee. TTIP describes itself as "Britain's first Black-led political party,"
"The incident happened in the early hours of this morning, following numerous death threats," TTIP wrote in a statement posted to its Facebook page on Sunday. However, neither London's Metropolitan police, nor Johnson's friend Imarn Ayton, believe at this time that she was targeted for violence.
"I do believe that it was a party and there was some type of dispute between two individuals or two gangs, and it was wrong place, wrong time," Ayton, who met Johnson during last year's social justice protests, told the U.K.'s ITV News.
"The third-party information that I have received also alludes to the fact that she wasn't the target," Ayton added.
For now, the Metropolitan police seem to concur, saying in a statement that "while the investigation is at an early stage, there is nothing to suggest that the woman who was shot was the subject of a targeted attack or that she had received any credible threats against her prior to this incident." The department is still hoping to interview potential witnesses.
Still, Labour MP Dianne Abbott raised the possibility of Johnson's attack having been politically motivated, tweeting that "nobody should have to potentially pay with their life because they stood up for racial justice."
Johnson is a leading figure in the social justice protest movement, leading efforts to defund police over the past year. She was also involved in efforts to remove a statue of British imperialist and racist Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College at Oxford University. According to the TTIP, Johnson is a mother of three.