Lieutenant Ashley Berry, 33, a mother of three, was gunned down and killed while visiting the city on Nov. 28 to celebrate the holiday, according to Hopewell police.
Berry, who was a veteran of the Richmond Fire Department since 2011, was found with serious gunshot wounds in the 1000 block of Sunnyside Avenue just before midnight, with her child next to her, reported CBS 17.
An eyewitness reported hearing gunshots in the area before seeing a “silver or gold-colored SUV” speed away, according to WTVR.
Berry was rushed to John Randolph Medical Center and later taken for treatment at VCU Medical Center. However, she passed away the following day at the hospital.
We are at a loss for words. Another one of our young members taken too soon. Sister Berry was an E Board member of Local 995. She cared about the job and tried to do it the right way. She was a single mother of three and loved them unconditionally. Prayers please. @RFDVA pic.twitter.com/59ANuuPLqn
— Richmond IAFF L-995 (@IAFFLocal995RVA) November 29, 2019
“We are at a loss for words. Another one of our young members taken too soon,” the Richmond Fire Department wrote on Twitter. “Sister Berry was an E Board member of Local 995. She cared about the job and tried to do it the right way. She was a single mother of three and loved them unconditionally. Prayers, please.”
Police have not yet identified a suspect.
Funeral services for Berry were announced at a press conference on Dec. 3, where the firefighter’s family spoke of how she saved her 5-year-old child.
Family member Waverly Berry told 8News: “He said, ‘the bad people shot mommy. I tried to get mommy to look at me, but mommy wouldn’t turn her head.’”
“I told him your mother’s last act of love for you was to push you down,” he told the conference. “‘Mommy pushed me down,’ yeah; that was for a reason: to save you. It could have been two people that been shot.”
On Thursday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., a public vigil service will be held at Huguenot High School as part of Berry’s funeral services.
A separate public viewing has been scheduled on Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Mimms Funeral Home, with a Celebration of Life ceremony for the slain firefighter set at noon on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Second Baptist Church in Richmond.
Police have urged anyone who witnessed the shooting or was traveling in the area to contact Lead Detective Mark Polumbo of the Hopewell Criminal Investigations Unit at 804-541-2284 or respond anonymously to Hopewell Prince George Crimesolvers hotline at 804-541-2202 or using the P3tips mobile app.