HomeTop Stories'Beloved' firefighter died protecting her child, police say. 4 years later,...

‘Beloved’ firefighter died protecting her child, police say. 4 years later, the man is charged

Lieutenant Ashley Berry was a “beloved” Virginia firefighter known for her generous spirit.

So much so that Berry spent Thanksgiving in 2019 making food baskets for others. But that same night, she performed her “last act of love” when she shielded her 5-year-old son from gunfire that killed her, according to Hopewell police and details family members shared with news outlets.

“She was living proof of a superhero,” her cousin, Angel Berry, told WTVR. “She has saved so many lives and she is still saving lives in her strength and her courage.”

Now, nearly four years after Ashley Berry was shot dead, a Hopewell man is facing charges of murder. Officers in an August 15 press release did not list information about the man’s attorney, identified as 30-year-old Darrell Donnell Taylor Jr.

Mother shows a ‘last act of love’

The case dates back to the night of November 28, 2019, Thanksgiving. Ashley Berry — a mother of three and an off-duty firefighter — was leaving a holiday party with her youngest child when gunfire erupted, according to police and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

See also  One teen killed and four people injured after a shooting at an Oklahoma high school football game, authorities say

Officers said the 33-year-old mother used her body to shield the boy from the bullets. But she was seriously injured in the shooting and rushed to a hospital, where she died after protecting her son.

“(I told him) ‘Your mother’s last act of love, for you, was to push you down,'” Waverly Berry, the boy’s grandfather, told WTVR.

Police believed Ashley Berry was killed in a drive-by shooting and was not the intended target. As the years passed, officers asked the public for help searching for clues in their murder investigation.

“Her family is really devastated,” William Spindle of the Brothers and Sisters Combined Firefighters Union told WRIC in November 2019. “This doesn’t make it any better that this is the holiday season, the time to be thankful for what you have. This is without a doubt a senseless act of unnecessary violence.”

Then, years later, on August 15, police announced that a grand jury had indicted Taylor on charges of “murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, conspiracy to commit murder, and shooting into an occupied building.” He was already in custody in Brunswick County on unrelated charges.

See also  High surf hits LA and OC beaches on Labor Day

“This tragic incident took place nearly four years ago and yet the officers and detectives working on this investigation never gave up hope,” Gregory Taylor, interim police chief, wrote in the release.

Firefighter was ‘really loved’

Meanwhile, Ashley Berry is remembered as a selfless person who was a “pillar in the community” and a “truly loved” member of the Richmond Fire Department.

“She was an amazing mother, daughter, friend and employee who accepted challenges while doing her best,” the department wrote in a 2019 Facebook post.

Police in Hopewell, about 20 miles southeast of downtown Richmond, said a reward of up to $1,000 could be available to people who share information leading to additional arrests in the case. Anyone with details is asked to call agents at 804-541-2284, Crime Solvers at 804-541-2202, or use the P3 Tips smartphone application.

31-year-old officer shot to death with ‘infectious laugh’ in the line of duty, Virginia officers say

See also  Detroit Three shares fall as US auto workers begin strike

Beloved doctor shot in the middle of the day in NC Park, officials say

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments