HENRICO COUNTY, VA – A 14 year-old black suspect has been charged with murder after he allegedly gunned down a white 13 year-old Richmond, VA girl in broad daylight, with police denying public accusations that the incident was race-related.
On March 26 at 4:30 p.m., police responding to a 911 call regarding a shooting at the 1900 block of Hickoryridge Road discovered Lucia Whalen Bremer lying outside of a home suffering from multiple gunshot wounds; the Quioccasin Middle School eighth grader was rushed to a local area hospital where she was later pronounced deceased by physicians, officials say.
According to NBC12 and WWBT, the Bremer family released the following statement:
“Our family is grieving today, as we will for the rest of our lives. Lucia was not only a member of our close-knit family, but she was also a dedicated athlete, bright mind, and kind soul. She was well known in our community and a vital piece of the workings of our family farm. What happened to her was an act of evil. It was senseless, and we were robbed of something that we can never get back. Together, we will grieve and then do the only thing we can do – move forward, living in light the way Lucia lived and loving the way Lucia loved. This will be our only comment at this time.”
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Lucia Bremer was a highly-regarded member of the community she lived in and was a phenomenal student, athlete, and person, according to Quioccasin Middle School Principal Melanie Phipps.
“She was a straight student, a phenomenal athlete,” Phipps said. “There wasn’t a day that went by that she didn’t smile at someone, laugh, try to lift up our spirits. She was hilarious. She was wise beyond her years and she was a phenomenal public speaker.”
A 14 year-old boy – whose name has not been released by authorities since he is a juvenile – ran from the scene but was later arrested on Saturday, reports say. He was arraigned on Monday in Henrico County court on charges of murder in connection with the shooting, and has remained at the county’s Juvenile Detention since, according to police.
As a search for the suspect began, Police described him as a younger black male who is 5’8″ and 125lbs.
“Officers are searching for an armed suspect described as a younger Black male who is 5-feet, 8-inches tall and 125 pounds. He was last seen wearing a two-toned sweatshirt with a camouflaged bottom half and a face mask. The suspect’s hair is described as shaggy with shaved sides.”
The respective races of the suspect and victim have led to members of the community to question if the murder was race or gang-related, while others have decried the overall lack of attention that the incident has generated in the media, arguing that if the suspect had been white and the victim black things would be different.
To dispel any such rumors, which have been appearing on social media, Herico Police officials released a statement on Twitter saying that the murder was not being investigated as a hate crime or as gang-related.
“It is early in the investigation, however, there is no evidence indicating this crime was racially motivated.” officials with the department posted Wednesday afternoon on Twitter. “There is also no evidence to suggest the suspect, victim, or witnesses were involved in gang activity.”
According to 8News, there is a witness in this case, another girl who was walking home with Lucia before they were both approached by the suspect leading a source to reveal to 8News that the girls did not know the suspect.
The parents of Lucia Bremer have established a memorial scholarship fund in her memory.
It has not yet been determined if prosecutors will charge the suspect as an adult, but they do have the authority to do so according to the Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor’s office.