A woman hailed as “a strong, powerful voice” in the black equal rights movement has been shot in the head, her colleagues have said.
Mother-of-three Sasha Johnson is in a critical condition in hospital.
Officials from the Taking The Initiative Party (TTIP), an economic and political group she works for, said the shooting happened in the early hours of Sunday and followed “numerous death threats”.
The Oxford graduate is a known figure in the Black Lives Matter movement and is described as “a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community” by the TTIP.
In a statement, the TTIP said: “It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has sustained a gunshot wound to her head.
“She is currently hospitalised and in a critical condition.
“The incident happened in the early hours of this morning, following numerous death threats.
“Sasha has always been actively fighting for black people and the injustices that surround the black community, as well as being both a member of BLM and a member of Taking The Initiative Party’s executive leadership committee.”
The TTIP has asked people to “all come together and pray for Sasha, pray for her recovery and show our support to her family and loved ones”.
Claudia Webbe, Labour MP for Leicester East, was among those who went online to express “solidarity” with Ms Johnson.
Ms Webbe said: “We were all out last year for Black Lives Matter.
“I only know her as an activist on these issues of Black Lives Matter. I support Black Lives Matter and therefore support what she was doing.
“As a member of Parliament I stand in full solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and I stand with her work in the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Ms Johnson works in activism and community support and got a first in social care at Oxford University.
Her page on the TTIP website says: “She has an immense passion for implementing change and justice and has been actively supporting the eradication of injustices in society by attending and leading protests.
“Although not everyone may agree with her methods, she is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.
“She is also committed to feeding the homeless and has personally been involved in delivering food and groceries to families that are in need.”
The Metropolitan Police later reissued an appeal for witnesses to the shooting of a 27-year-old woman although they were unable to confirm if it was the incident involving Ms Johnson.
The Met said the woman was in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being shot in the early hours of Sunday.
She was found after officers were called to reports of gunshots in Consort Road, Peckham, south-east London, shortly before 3am.
It is believed the shooting occurred in the vicinity of a house where a party was taking place and a number of people may have been in the area.
A spokesman said that while the investigation is at an early stage, there is nothing to suggest it was a targeted attack or that the woman had received any credible threats against her before this incident.
Detectives from the Met’s specialist crime command (Trident) are leading the investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Jimi Tele said: “This was a shocking incident that has left a young woman with very serious injuries. Our thoughts are with her family who are being provided with support at this terribly difficult time.”
He said detectives are making “good progress” in hunting the attackers but they need help from the public.
It is “crucial” that anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Consort Road area in the early hours of Sunday or who has heard information since then get in touch.
Mr Tele added: “Finally, I recognise that this incident will have shocked those in the local community and further afield.
“I would ask people to avoid speculating as to the motive or the circumstances behind it.”