Prosecutors have charged a suspect, potentially bringing a cold case to a close
Ashlee Berryman was shot in the back outside a nightclub in 2015, following a confrontation in which she was not involved
Prosecutors have now charged Henry "J.R." Del-Rio with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting
Berryman is survived by a son, who was 3 years old at the time of her murder
Prosecutors in Massachusetts have charged a suspect in an August 2015 shooting outside a nightclub that left a 21-year-old mother dead, potentially bringing a cold case to a close.
Ashlee Berryman had been attending her boyfriend’s concert when shots were fired outside the Braza Bar and Grill in Everett, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release. Berryman, who was not involved in the confrontation that preceded the shots, was struck in the back by a bullet, authorities say.
Over eight years later, Henry “J.R.” Del-Rio was charged with first-degree murder, with prosecutors alleging that he fired nine shots, including the one that killed Berryman.
Witnesses told investigators that they saw Del-Rio at the scene the night of the shooting, authorities claimed. Prosecutors alleged that Del-Rio admitted to people that he had fired the shots and that he and associates agreed that the weapon needed to be disposed of and that they’d say nothing.
“The conduct that Henry Del-Rio is alleged to have engaged in outside the Braza [Grill] was outrageous and it ended in terrible tragedy,” District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement. “Ashlee Berryman, a completely innocent victim, was caught in a hail of gunfire and lost her life. The defendant is alleged to have randomly fired a gun over and over in a crowded parking lot, and unsurprisingly there was a terrible result.”
Several bullets were recovered from the scene, all fired from the same gun, which has never been found, authorities said.
Del-Rio has also been charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, attempt to commit assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon as well as two gun charges. It is not immediately clear if he entered a plea or retained an attorney. Authorities alleged that he was a member of the East Side Money Gang at the time.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
At the time of her death, Berryman had a 3-year-old son, Julius, according to a GoFundMe launched in 2015.
“Julius was Ashlee's life, her world, and her everything,” the GoFundMe organizer wrote. “Every breath she took, every move she made was for her son. Every picture she took, every video she recorded was of Julius. She meant the world to him and he meant the world to her, and knowing she isn't here to watch him grow is devastating.”
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.