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Crime News Domestic Violence

Man Arrested For Killing Child’s Mother As She Pushed Stroller In Upper East Side Shooting

The mother of 20-year-old victim Azsia Johnson says Isaac Argo, the man arrested for her daughter's murder, had a violent history of domestic violence allegedly ignored by authorities. 

By Jax Miller
A personal photo of Azsia Johnson

An arrest has been made in connection with a New York City woman who was shot to death while pushing her baby in a stroller in Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Azsia Johnson, 20, has been identified as the victim who was gunned down on Wednesday, according to NBC New York. Johnson was shot at point-blank range while pushing her 3-month-old baby in a stroller near East 95th Street and Lexington Avenue.

The child was unharmed in the attack.

On Friday, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced the arrest of 22-year-old Isaac Argo on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

During Argo’s Saturday evening arraignment at the Manhattan Criminal Court, prosecutors confirmed that Argo was the father of the victim’s 3-month-old daughter, according to New York’s WPIX-TV.

Prosecutors allege Argo made arrangements on Wednesday to meet Johnson because “he wanted to give items” for their child. Police sources previously told ABC New York affiliate WABC-TV that the pair planned to meet to “work things out.”

Prior to Argo’s arrest, Johnson’s mother, Lisa DeSort, told reporters that her daughter feared Argo before heading out to meet him, according to WABC-TV. She voiced concerns that Argo allegedly abused Johnson in the past.

“I knew it was going to come to this, and I told my daughter this,” said DeSort. “For some reason, she felt like she needed to be tracked, so she text[ed] her sister and said, ‘This is my location, just in case.’”

Prosecutors are now saying the meetup was a “guise” on Argo’s part, calling the murder “a premeditated execution,” according to WPIX-TV.

Argo allegedly arrived to meet Johnson dressed in black before shooting her once in the head shortly before 8:30 p.m., “leaving his crying [daughter] in the stroller as he ran away,” said prosecutors.

Johnson was pronounced dead after being transported to NYC Health and Hospitals/Metropolitan.

Argo was arrested two days later at his Brooklyn apartment, according to the Post.

Johnson was a healthcare worker and aspiring pediatrics nurse who had been separated from Argo, despite his alleged attempts to get back into her life, per the Post. DeSort was at the courthouse with her surviving children when Argo was ordered to be held without bail.

“To be honest, I wanted to jump up and scream out, 'Coward,'" DeSort told the Post. “‘You’re not a man, you’re a monster.’”

Although DeSort thanked officials for their investigation into her daughter’s murder, she criticized Queens County authorities for not heeding Johnson’s past complaints against Argo, which included allegations of stalking and domestic violence.

“I’m very disappointed in the borough of Queens,” said DeSort. “When my daughter did reach out, she was abused, and she was assaulted, which was documented. She reached out, and I reached out numerous times with threats and stalking. … We were kind of shoved off and pushed off.”

At the bail hearing, prosecutors cited that the former couple had a “history of domestic violence,” including an assault that occurred when Johnson was seven months pregnant, according to WPIX-TV. Police allegedly responded to the incident, with body-worn camera capturing the aftermath, which reportedly showed Johnson “crying with bruises to her face,” according to prosecutors.

Officers stated that Argo “also threatened the victim’s family members during the pendency of their relationship,” noting that Johnson’s family continued to worry about Johnson’s well-being, according to a complaint obtained by WPIX-TV.

A 2021 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists revealed that homicide continues to be the leading cause of death in pregnant women across the United States.

According to WABC-TV, Argo had been subject to five previous arrests dating back to 2017 on charges ranging from robbery to reckless endangerment. Per WPIX-TV, he has no prior convictions but had three juvenile offender adjudications related to sexual misconduct, possession of stolen property, and petit larceny.

If convicted, Argo faces 25 years to life in prison. He is expected to appear in court on July 7.

A GoFundMe page has been created by Johnson’s relatives, with proceeds going toward the family members left to take care of Johnson’s 3-month-old child, along with Johnson’s 1-year-old son.

DeSort told the Post that Johnson’s children are “perfectly fine and in great hands.”

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