‘Person of interest’ in custody in shooting death of Richmond firefighter
HOPEWELL, Va. (WWBT) - A “person of interest” has been taken into custody in the shooting death of a Richmond Fire lieutenant. Hopewell police say the charges against that person are unrelated to the homicide.
Lt. Ashley Berry, 33, of Chesterfield, was shot and killed in Hopewell on Thanksgiving. Since then, Hopewell Police Lt. Michael Langford said investigators have been working 24/7 to solve this case.
“We have taken a person of interest into custody, but no charges have been filed,” he said Friday. “This person does face other unrelated charges.”
The U.S. Marshals office confirms they were involved in this arrest. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division is still offering a reward of $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible in the crime.
“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,” Langford said.
Hopewell police and other city officials held a press conference to discuss the recent violence in the city.
Thursday community members gathered in Richmond for a vigil to honor the life of the 33-year-old mother of three.
"Words cannot capture the anguish, the hurt and pain this fire department feels right now,” Chief Melvin Carter said.
The vigil comes two days after Berry’s family addressed the public surrounded by members of the Richmond Fire Department. Berry’s father, Waverly Berry, revealed his daughter shielded her five-year-old son from the bullets.
“I told (my grandson), ‘Your mother’s last act of love for you was to push you down,” Berry said. “That was for a reason, to save you… It could have been two people shot.”
City leaders including elected officials, city administration, and the law enforcement partners will hold a news conference at 4 p.m. Friday to discuss the recent crimes in the community. The meeting will take place in the Hopewell Council Chambers located in the City Municipal Building, 300 North Main Street, Hopewell, Virginia 23860.
“This is a community issue, only when we work together can we prevent these acts of violence,” said Mayor Jasmine Gore.
Investigators are expected to release more information about Lt. Berry’s case at the upcoming news conference.
Anyone with information on the case can use the Hopewell Prince George Crimesolvers hotline at (804) 541-2202 or provide their tip using the P3tips mobile app along with The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tips line at 888-ATF-TIPS or email@example.com.
This is a developing story. Check back later for more developments.
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