Richmond firefighter’s ‘last act of love’ was protecting her child from deadly shooting

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The community that Lt. Ashley Nicole Berry served will have the chance to honor her life later this week as funeral services for the slain Richmond firefighter were announced on Tuesday.

Lt. Berry, a mother of three and veteran of the department since 2011, was killed after being shot in Hopewell on Thanksgiving night.

At a Tuesday press conference, Lt. Berry’s family spoke about what happened the night of the shooting and how Berry’s motherly instincts saved her child.

“He said, ‘the bad people shot mommy,'” Waverly Berry said, recalling their 5-year-old’s words about the last moments with his mother. “‘I tried to get mommy to look at me, but mommy wouldn’t turn her head.'”

Hopewell police said officers found a victim, later identified as Berry, with serious gunshot wounds in the 1000 block of Sunnyside Avenue just before midnight on Nov. 28. She was taken to John Randolph Medical Center and then VCU Medical Center for treatment.

The next day, Berry died at the hospital. Police have not yet named a suspect in Berry’s murder.

“I told him your mother’s last act of love for you was to push you down,” W. Berry explained. “‘Mommy pushed me down,’ yeah that was for a reason: to save you. It could have been two people that been shot.”

After Tuesday’s press conference, Hopewell police announced a $5,000 reward offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division for any information that leads to the arrest of Berry’s killer.

“We appeal to your consciousness to do the right thing and turn yourself into the authorities,” George Berry, Lt. Berry’s cousin, said Tuesday. “If anyone knows anything that will bring justice to Ashley Nicole Berry, we encourage you to use the power of your voice and speak up.”

The Richmond Fire Department shared the funeral services schedule for Lt. Berry’s on Tuesday. There will be a public vigil service at Huguenot High School on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a public viewing on Friday, Dec. 6, at Mimms Funeral Home from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

A Celebration of Life ceremony for Berry will begin at noon on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Second Baptist Church in Richmond.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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