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

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Fire Department shared a brief statement Friday on the death of Lt. Ashley Berry, a mother of three and veteran of the department who was shot in Hopewell on Thanksgiving night.

Lt. Berry began serving the department in January 2011 and was recently promoted to lieutenant after being assigned to the fire marshal’s office, a spokesman for RFD told 8News. She died after being shot in Hopewell on Thursday.

Authorities responded to the 1000 block of Sunnyside Avenue around 11:40 p.m. for reports of a shooting in the area. Police said officers found a victim, later identified as 33-year-old Ashley Berry, with serious gunshot wounds.

She was taken to John Randolph Medical Center and then VCU Medical Center for treatment. On Friday, Berry was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of one of our members of the department Lt. Ashley Berry. Lt. Berry passed away on November 29, 2019 in Hopewell, VA. Lt. Berry was a valued member of our Fire Department family and the community as she served proudly since January 29, 2011,” RFD said in the statement.

“She was recently assigned to our Fire Marshals Office this year. She leaves behind three children, please keep LT Berry’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. She will be missed but never forgotten.”

An outpouring of support and emotion has come out following the news of Lt. Berry’s death. The Brothers and Sisters Combined Firefighters Union, which is part of the International Black Firefighters Association, released a statement about the passing of Lt. Berry.

“Her smile, her grace, and wisdom will be missed every day,” the statement reads in part. William Spindle, who is with the BSC Firefighters Union, spoke with 8News on behalf of the union and Berry’s loved ones.

“Her family is truly devastated,” Spindle said Friday. “This doesn’t make it any better that this is the holidays, the time of being thankful for what you have. This is without question a senseless act of unnecessary violence.”

Spindle says the union is working to life up Berry’s family, specifically her three children.

“Had time to sit down with all of them individually,” he told 8News. “We’re doing what we can to make sure they’re taken care of.”

Hopewell police said a silver or gold SUV was seen speeding off from the scene after the shooting late Thursday. Investigators have asked anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

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