An “exceptional” 13-year-old girl in Virginia was shot dead — and a minor boy has now been arrested for her murder, according to police, family and reports.
Lucia Whalen Bremer, an eighth-grader at Quioccasin Middle School in Richmond, Virginia, was gunned down Friday around 4:30 p.m. while walking through the Gayton Forest West subdivision in the city’s suburbs, according to police and local outlet WTVR.
On Saturday afternoon, the Henrico County Police Division arrested a juvenile male they said was responsible for the crime and charged him with second degree murder, possession of a firearm by a juvenile and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The department is withholding the suspect’s name and age because he is a juvenile and being charged as such.
On Saturday morning, Bremer’s parents posted on their family farm’s Facebook page confirming the death of their daughter.
“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,” the post reads.
“If you have any information to help support the ongoing investigation, please contact the Henrico County Police at 804-501-5794.”
Melanie Phipps, the principal of Quioccasin Middle School, sent a missive to parents Saturday saying she is “heartbroken and devastated” by Bremer’s death, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“Words can barely begin to describe the tragedy and loss for our community and beyond, but I will try,” Phipps wrote in the letter, according to the outlet.
“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.”
Phipps called Bremer “exceptional,” “truly one-of-a-kind,” “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,” the message read.
Bremer was also a soccer player for the Richmond Strikers, a traveling soccer club, the outlet reported.
“Everybody in the Strikers family is devastated by this, as well as everyone in the soccer community,” Jay Howell, executive director of the Richmond Strikers, said.
“I appreciate everybody’s support, not only from the Strikers family, but also from the Kickers and Richmond United and everybody involved…. She is going to be extremely missed, and we are all devastated by her loss.”