A Brooklyn mother who was shot dead at point-blank range on Wednesday reportedly knew her assassin as a ‘family friend,’ and was lured to her death by a phone call, her family has claimed.
Delia Johnson, 42, was talking to a group of people in Crown Heights at around 9.40pm on August 4 when a blonde woman dressed in all black walked up to her from behind and shot her in the back of the head.
Surveillance video that was released by the police on Thursday shows the gunwoman fire several more times, hitting Johnson in the leg as bystanders run and duck for cover.
The victim collapses to the ground in front of horrified onlookers as her killer calmly makes her way toward a parked white car, gets in the driver’s seat and takes off from the scene.
On Friday, police also released closer images of the suspect, as Johnson’s family said they recognize the killer as a family friend.
Police have not named a suspect in the case, or arrested anyone. A motive is still unknown.
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Shocking video shows the female assassin raising a gun to a woman on a Brooklyn sidewalk and shooting her dead. The victim, named by police as Delia Johnson, 42, was speaking to a group on a stoop in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, when she was shot in the head.
NYPD issued this image of the female shooter, left, whom Delia Johnson’s family members have now identified as a ‘family friend.’ It remains unclear why she shot and killed Johnson (right)
‘I know her,’ Delia’s mother, Delia Berry, reportedly exclaimed when she saw the picture, according to the New York Post.
‘Oh my God, oh my God, she used to stay with us,’ Berry said. ‘She slept in my bed, ate my food.’
‘She was one of my babies too,’ Berry also told PIX 11 news.
One of Johnson’s younger sisters, Hadjah Pendley, called the suspect ‘a family friend who came to our family events, celebrations, holidays – whatever you want to call it, she came.’
Berry reportedly noted to PIX 11 that the suspect and Johnson had a tumultuous friendship in recent weeks in which they would ‘argue about everything.’
She now says she wants to know why the suspect, who has not yet been named, would murder her daughter.
‘Why did you slaughter her like that?’ she asked. ‘I just want to know why.
‘What could she have done to you that you couldn’t come and knock on my door and tell me? I would have straightened it out for both of you all.
‘You are hurting families,’ Berry told the Post. ‘I’m in so much pain, I don’t know what to do.
‘She was my baby,’ Berry said, adding: ‘This person that shot my daughter, may God have mercy on your family, because we put curses on ourselves when we do things.’
Delia Johnson, 42 (left and right), was shot and killed on a Brooklyn street after attending a funeral for a friend. She was raising a 17-year-old daughter as a single mom
Footage shows the assassin, her purse slung over her shoulder, turn and casually walk to an SUV as her victim lays dead on the sidewalk.
Delia Johnson lays dead on the sidewalk after onlookers scattered for shelter when the shots were fired. Her assassin is shown getting into a getaway car
After shooting Johnson multiple times, the blonde suspect calmly returned to a parked car
She was last seen getting into the driver’s seat and speeding away from the scene
Mathis Johnson, Delia’s brother, told the New York Daily News that his sister had attended a funeral for an old friend earlier that day.
The service drew hundreds of mourners, and Mathis claims the suspected killer was among them.
Mathis said he saw the black-clad woman with long blonde hair at the Sealy Culyer Funeral Home, about four blocks away.
Johnson was reportedly talking to some friends afterwards when she received a phone call.
‘She said “I’ll be right back,”‘ longtime friend Shawn Johnson, 43, told the New York Post. ‘Twenty minutes later, somebody called me and told me she got shot. I told him he was lying. I was just standing here with her.’
Another of Johnson’s sister, Khadyah Berry, 28, told the Post she was looking for a parking space when she saw an ambulance passing that night, not realizing it was for her sister.
‘I ran down the street trying to get to her, but by the time I got to her, they took her,’ Khadyah recounted, claiming she ‘knew in my heart that somebody called her and knew what it was and set my sister up. Nobody can tell me otherwise.
‘My sister didn’t deserve that all,’ she said.
Delia’s family members said she was an entrepreneur who was raising her 17-year-old. Her mother also described her as her first-born child who excelled in piano and tap dancing, and later took care of her as she became ill.
‘I will never forget when I was in so much pain and she was right there for me,’ Berry recalled to the Post about a surgery she underwent, and how Johnson was the first one at the hospital to help her.
‘I am going to miss her bringing me some food when I wasn’t feeling well,’ she said, adding: ‘When a child can wash and clean their own mother, that’s love.
‘She’d say “You know you get [on] my nerves sometimes, Mommy, but you know I love you,”‘ Berry told the Post. ‘I’d say, “You get on my nerves too, but I love you too.’
Delia Berry, Johnson’s mother, said she now wants to know why the suspect killed her daughter
Berry, left, said Johnson, right, her first-born child, helped take care of her after she underwent surgery and would bring her food
This is not the only instance of a woman being implicated in a deadly shooting targeting another woman in New York City.
Back in April, 51-year-old Nichelle Thomas was fatally shot in the back of the head from a point-blank range as she approached a bodega in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.
Police later arrested Thomas’ on-again, off-again girlfriend, 38-year-old Latisha Bell, charging her with second-degree murder.
Wednesday’s violent killing took place as Mayor Bill de Blasio proudly boasted on Thursday that his ‘Safe Summer’ program has driven down murder and gun attacks in New York City.
In April, de Blasio unveiled his ‘Safe Summer’ program, a plan aimed at ending gun violence that focused on creating disincentives for young people looking to turn to guns by offering them positive alternatives.
During his Thursday briefing, de Blasio proudly proclaimed that the program has been effective and said in the month of July the NYPD saw ‘extraordinary successes’ to curve violent crime.
Listing statistics from July, de Blasio noted that murders decreased by 49.1 percent and shootings were down by 35 percent across the New York City.
The NYPD made 383 gun arrests in July alone, up 133.5 percent compared to last July, the mayor said, while gun arrests in general have gone up 44.5 percent in 2021.
While de Blasio touted the success of his program he failed to mention an ongoing string of violent incidents in the streets of the Big Apple this summer that have led to the NYPD issuing hundreds of pleas to identify suspects.
During his daily briefing on Thursday, de Blasio proudly proclaimed that the ‘Safe Summer’ program has been effective and said in July the NYPD curved violent crime
Shootings so far this year have steadily increased since January, with a small dip in June and July
Rapes in New York City were up 3.1 percent so far this year, with 842 reported as of August 1, compared to 817 in the same period of 2020
According to the mayor, the summer month of July is usually one of the most violent in the city but the NYPD ‘rose to the challenge’ and was able to suppress gun violence and executed an impressive number of gang takedowns.
‘The gang takedowns mean taking a lot of bad guys off of the streets and at the same time a lot of shooters off the streets, this is crucial,’ de Blasio noted.
Overall since the safe summer program was launched in May, murders have gone down 26 percent, shootings decreased 10 percent and shooting victims are down 11 percent.
‘There is more to do, but the NYPD is moving and making an impact,’ de Blasio said.
The stoop on 697 Franklin Street in Crown Heights where Delia Johnson, 42, was talking to a group of people before a female assassin opened fire on her
A small row of candles marks the scene where Delia Johnson was gunned down on Franklin Street in Crown Heights
While de Blasio took his victory lap many New Yorkers are wondering if the program is actually working as the city is inundated with violent crime.
On Tuesday a man strangled a woman unconscious on a Manhattan subway train and attempted to rape her before taking off.
According to the NYPD, the 40-year-old female subway rider was approached by a stranger who demanded her possessions and then slammed her into the train car seats.
The burly perpetrator then strangled the victim until she lost consciousness.
Police said the assailant then groped the unresponsive woman’s breasts inside her bra and tried to rape her, reported the New York Post.
When the train pulled into the 168th Street station, the attacker dragged the woman onto the subway platform and ran away.
Crime has rocketed by 53% in two years and system has already seen more murders in 2021 than it did for the whole of 2019
This comes one day after police released surveillance footage of a masked attacker they say raped a 70-year-old woman at gunpoint in her apartment building in The Bronx last week.
According to the NYPD, the sexual assault took place at around 2am on July 27 in the Belmont neighborhood.
The elderly victim was entering her apartment building when she was approached from behind by a man wearing two plastic masks – a red one and a black one – on his face, police said.
On Saturday, three innocent bystanders were struck when gunfire erupted outside a Washington Heights bodega.
Surveillance footage showed three men chasing a fourth man into a bodega as he goes behind the counter and holds a gun to the three men with his back to the cashier.
Shortly after the group of men took the standoff outside and began firing, striking a 42-year-old woman in the left arm, a 58-year-old woman in the buttocks and a 78-year-old man in the left arm and stomach, the New York Post reported.
Police say the man was wearing black and red plastic masks (pictured in his right hand) when he raped the elderly woman at gunpoint in the stairwell
On Saturday, three innocent bystanders were struck when gunfire erupted outside a Washington Heights bodega
The men were gang members targeting rivals from the Trinitarios gang during the shooting on Saturday night in the borough’s Corona neighborhood, police said
Earlier this week, surveillance footage captured the moment two men approached a crowd in a busy Queens neighborhood and fired about 40 shots, injuring 10 people before fleeing the scene on mopeds.
The shooters were targeting members of the Trinitarios gang on Saturday night in the borough’s Corona neighborhood, police said.
They opened fire while some bystanders were walking outside a barbershop and others were at a nearby restaurant for a birthday party.
These incident are reflective of the overall skyrocketing crime rates in New York City.
NYPD crime data show that rapes are up 3.1 per cent so far this year, with 842 reported as of August 1, compared to 817 in the same period of 2020.
Other sex crimes are up 26.3 per cent to 2,719 this year, compared to 2,152 last year, according to NYPD statistics.
Shootings have spiked 15.8 per cent in 2021 compared to last year, with 900 shooting incidents in 2021 compared to 777 in 2020.
There are also 12 per cent more shooting victims this year, the data shows, with 1,057 people falling prey to gun violence compared to 944 last year.
The biggest leap in crime rates is for hate crimes, which have surged by 103 per cent in the last year. The data come amid numerous random attacks on Asian Americans in the city in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The suspect, seen here making his escape at the 168th Street station in Washington Heights, is accused of attacking the 40-year-old victim aboard a northbound C train