Arrest made in shooting death of Richmond firefighter

Crime

Authorities have arrested a ‘person of interest’ in connection with the shooting death of a Richmond firefighter who was killed on Thanksgiving in Hopewell.

Lt. Ashley Berry, 33, died Friday, November 29 at VCU Medical Center after she was shot late Thursday night on Sunnyside Avenue. 8News later learned the mother of three was shot while shielding her 5-year-old son from gunfire.

Authorities spent a week hunting for Lt. Berry’s suspected killer. On Friday, December 6, the U.S. Marshals Office confirmed to 8News that a ‘person of interest’ was in custody.

The Hopewell Police Department said the ‘person of interest’ was arrested on ‘unrelated charges’ and that a $5,000 reward was still being offered for information that leads to an arrest in Lt. Berry’s death.

“Law enforcement has worked tirelessly since the fatality of Richmond Fire Department Lieutenant Ashley N. Berry on Thanksgiving night,” Hopewell Police said in a release. “This investigation remains active and ongoing.”

During a community vigil held Thursday at Huguenot High School, Lt. Berry was remembered as the loving mother, faithful friend and brave hero who dedicated her life to serving others.

“Lt. Berry was a quiet woman with a can-do attitude,” said Lt. Chris Armstrong, of Richmond Fire Department. “All you had to do was ask one time and consider it done.”

A member of Lt. Berry’s family added, “It just truly hurts us that she has been lost to senseless gun violence.”

Authorities were expected to release more details about the arrest during a Friday afternoon press conference.

“The Hopewell Police Department and our law enforcement partners continue to follow-up on all leads and continue to seek the public’s assistance in bringing the person or persons who committed the thoughtless murder of Ms. Berry, mother of three and public servant to justice during the holiday season.”

Hopewell Police Department

During a Friday afternoon meeting, the community called for more information to be released. The Police Chief said the department wouldn’t release too many details because it’s an active investigation, however.

“We need to stand up we need to mobilize, be active and be vocal. And for clarity, vocal does not mean only voicing concerns on social media,” said Hopewell Mayor Jasmine Gore.

Hopewell Commonwealth’s Attorney Richard Newman told 8News the ‘person of interest’ in custody has a long criminal history and was arrested on unrelated charges because he has suspended time. Authorities add that they are not 100 percent sure he killed Berry. The investigation remains active and ongoing.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” Newman said at the press conference. “I believe it takes a village to stop crime. And I’m asking the community to come forward. The police can not do this by themselves.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for updates.

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