Juvenile charged with murder after eighth-grade girl shot dead in Virginia

Lucia Bremer, a student at Quioccasin Middle School, is said to have ‘radiated happiness’

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Sunday 28 March 2021 22:22 BST
Lucia Bremer, the middle school girl who was shot dead on 26 March 2021 in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia
Lucia Bremer, the middle school girl who was shot dead on 26 March 2021 in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia (Courtesy of Bremer family via Henrico Schools)
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Police in Virginia have arrested a juvenile suspect and charged him with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting of a young teenage girl.

Lucia Whalen Bremer was killed on Friday afternoon outside a home in the Gayton Forest West subdivision of Raintree, a suburb of Richmond, not far from her family home.

She was rushed to hospital but succumbed to her injuries, reportedly having been shot multiple times.

As the neighbourhood backs onto Godwin High School a temporary lockdown was issued in the wake of the shooting.

The girl, who was identified by her family on social media, was an eighth-grade student at Quioccasin Middle School in Richmond. The school principal said she “radiated happiness” in a statement.

On the Facebook page of the family business, a post read: “Liberty Tree Farm is saddened to report that our beloved daughter and joyful farmer, Lucia Whalen Bremer, was killed in a senseless act of gun violence on March 26.”

“Thank you for keeping our family in your thoughts as we navigate the next few weeks.”

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Henrico County officers arrested the suspect on Saturday afternoon. The identity of the suspect has not been disclosed because of his age but police said he was identified via tips called in by the public.

“On behalf of the entire police division, we appreciate the community support through the tips called in and to our partners with the Richmond ATF who assisted in the investigation,” said Lieutenant Matt Pecka.

Police confirmed that the suspect is also charged with possession of a firearm by a juvenile, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Footage on the Citizen app showed the suspect being taken into custody by two officers at a home approximately half a mile from the site of the murder.

Melanie Phipps, Lucia’s principal, sent a message to parents on Saturday saying that the loss has left her “heartbroken and devastated”.

“Lucia was funny. She loved to tell jokes and made people laugh. She was an amazing public speaker, and you would just listen in awe as she spoke. Lucia was wise beyond her years. Talking to her didn’t feel like talking to a middle schooler,” Ms Phipps wrote.

“Lucia was exceptional; truly one-of-a-kind. She was brave, hardworking, and kind to everyone. Her smile would light up the entire room.

“In fact, her mother told me that Lucia’s name means ‘light,’ which is just the perfect way to describe her. She radiated happiness, and she loved our school.”

A virtual memorial service was planned for Sunday afternoon and extra security measures will be in place at the school on Monday.

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