Community vigil held for slain lieutenant, mother of 3: ‘It just truly hurts us’

Local News

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Days after the death of Lt. Ashley Berry, the community came together to celebrate the life of the fallen Richmond firefighter.

Held at Huguenot High School, the vigil took place one week after the mother of three and veteran of the fire department was shot in Hopewell on Thanksgiving night. Those in attendance remembered Lt. Berry as the loving mother, faithful friend and brave hero who dedicated her life to serving others.

RELATED: Community mourns slain RFD lieutenant, mother of 3: ‘She will be missed but never forgotten’

“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.”

Huguenot High School’s auditorium was filled with heavy hearts, all grieving the sudden and shocking loss.

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

First responders said Lt. Berry’s strong work ethic, caring soul and kind heart is what stood out the most.

RELATED: Community members fed up with violence in Hopewell aim to be ‘part of the solution’

“Everybody in our recruit class knew she was the best of us. Because what she couldn’t do today, she did it tomorrow,” said a guest in attendance.

Another mourner said Berry “moved mountains.”

“If there was a challenge in front of her, she didn’t let it get in the way.”

It’s why Lt. Berry’s last act of heroism – pushing her son out of the way so he wouldn’t be struck by a bullet – was not surprising.

“She actually was not on duty that night, but make no mistake, that’s exactly what she was doing,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “Protecting her child the way she protected us every time she stepped into a burning building to save a life.”

Police are still looking for the shooter or shooters responsible for the death of Lt. Berry. Her friends, family, and colleagues hope justice will be served.

Stay with 8News for updates.

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