NEW YORK – A New York woman accused of ambushing and gunning down a woman on the street earlier this year was taken into custody Monday in Florida.
Claudia Banton, 42, of Brooklyn, was arrested in Jacksonville by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. According to Action News Jax, Banton has waived extradition back to New York to face a murder charge.
Banton is accused of killing Delia Johnson, 42, as Johnson stood chatting with friends Aug. 4 outside an apartment building in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. The shocking crime was captured by a nearby surveillance camera.
In the footage, Johnson, who is wearing a pink outfit, can be seen leaning against a stoop where several people sit. The woman police identified as Banton is seen casually walking up to Johnson from a white, double-parked vehicle and firing a bullet into her head.
The armed woman fires a second shot into Johnson’s body as she lay helpless on the sidewalk. Her acquaintances fall back on the steps and other bystanders scramble away as the shooter calmly gets into the driver’s seat of the white vehicle and drives away.
Johnson was taken to Interfaith Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, ABC 7 in New York reported at the time.
The motive for the shooting is unclear, but Johnson’s family told New York news media that they recognized the killer as a one-time close family friend. Both women had attended a neighborhood funeral earlier in the day.
“She was at a funeral earlier in the evening for an old neighborhood friend to pay her respects, and then this happened,” Johnson’s brother, Mathis Johnson, told The New York Daily News in August. “It was horrible. That lady executed my sister.”
Mathis Johnson told ABC 7 that witnesses said Banton and his sister did not speak to one another at the funeral.
“I asked everybody if they had words — they were both there — but there was no interaction,” he told the station.
Two weeks later, hundreds of mourners gathered at Johnson’s funeral to lay her to rest. According to the New York Post, the mourners included Johnson’s 17-year-old daughter.
Mathis Johnson described his sister as a beautiful person who would help anyone in need.
“She didn’t necessarily have the world to give, but she would give it,” he said, according to the Daily News. “She was an amazing woman. Everybody says positive things when people pass, but everything I said about her was 100 percent true.”
Delia Johnson’s mother, Delia Berry, told CBS New York that her daughter had no enemies.
“”Her community loved her and that’s real,” she said.
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