A 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the death of Azsia Johnson, a 20-year-old mother who was fatally shot at point blank range on Wednesday as she pushed her 3-month-old daughter in a stroller while on a walk on the Upper East Side, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the matter.
The man, Isaac Argro, was apprehended late Friday afternoon in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, the official said. Mr. Argro was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the police. According to Ms. Johnson’s family, Mr. Argro was the father of the 3-month-old baby who was in the stroller the night Mr. Johnson was killed.
“This was premeditated murder,” said Lisa Desort, Ms. Johnson’s mother, in an interview before Mr. Argro was taken into custody. “He intended to kill my daughter no matter what.”
The brazen killing on Wednesday evening came amid a wave of troubling gun violence that began early in the pandemic and that appears to have only started to recede this year.
Ms. Johnson was shot on a quiet residential block on 95th Street near Lexington Avenue around 8:30 p.m., law enforcement officials said. The baby was unharmed.
There had been a history of domestic abuse and threats between Mr. Argro and Ms. Johnson, according to Ms. Johnson’s family and law enforcement officials who said they were investigating whether the crime was an incident of domestic violence.
Mr. Argro had threatened Ms. Johnson regularly, Ms. Desort said, before and after the birth of their daughter.
“He beat my daughter up as she was six months pregnant, and she left him,” Ms. Desort said. “Ever since then, he’s been threatening her and me with death.”
The child was being evaluated by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services on Thursday, Ms. Desort said. She said she expected her family to care for the girl.