HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — The murder of a Virginia middle school girl has stunned a community and a juvenile suspect has been taken into custody following a manhunt after the horrific crime, according to reports.
Lucia Bremer was shot multiple times on Friday, forcing a nearby high school in Henrico County, Va., to be placed on a temporary lockdown, the Times-Dispatch reported.
The eighth-grader was taken to a hospital where she died of her wounds, according to the news agency. The suspect was reportedly last seen fleeing the shooting before the manhunt began.
The suspect, who has not been identified because of his age, was taken into custody at a home about a half-mile from where the shooting happened, according to the Henrico Citizen.
The suspect has been charged with second-degree murder, reports said.
"…Lucia’s name means 'light'. She radiated happiness, and she loved our school." We are heartbroken and devastated to share Principal Melanie Phipps’ message to the Quioccasin MS community (family photograph shared with permission from the Bremer family) https://t.co/1QadCsdVER pic.twitter.com/WvSpiVT5su
— Henrico Schools (@HenricoSchools) March 27, 2021
“Detectives worked tirelessly throughout the night to follow up on leads provided by our community partners,” Henrico police said while announcing the arrest Saturday.
Bremer’s family confirmed her death in a statement posted to Facebook on Saturday, writing they were “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,” the Times-Dispatch reported. “Thank you for keeping our family in your thoughts as we navigate the next few weeks.”
Liberty Tree Farm is saddened to report that our beloved daughter and joyful farmer, Lucia Whalen Bremer, was killed in…
Melanie Phipps, principal of Bremer’s Quioccasin Middle School in Richmond, described Lucia as “funny” and ‘wise,” adding that she was “heartbroken and devastated” over her killing, Fox reported.
#HPDAutoTweet: Henrico Police responding to a report of a shooting near the area of BROOK RD / WILMER AVE. Updates provided as needed or when available.
— Henrico Police (@HenricoPolice) March 18, 2021
She said students and staff were planning a virtual gathering for Sunday to grieve Bremer’s loss and the school plans to have an increased police presence Monday so everyone feels safe on a “most difficult day,” according to the Citizen.
David Whitehouse, Bremer’s English teacher said, “In a year of difficult days and weeks, this will be the most difficult of my entire career.”
Police have called the shooting victim a teenager but have not disclosed her name or age – despite the girl being identified on social media by her family – because she was a minor.
“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,” Henrico Police Lt. Matt Pecka said.