HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The family of 13-year-old Lucia Bremer issued a statement Monday, days after the Quioccasin Middle School student was shot and killed while walking in her neighborhood with a friend.
“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,” her family said in a statement.
Police said the teenager was walking along Hickoryridge Road, in the Gayton Forest West subdivision around 4:30 p.m. Friday, when another teenager approached the girls and shot Lucia.
The suspected shooter ran from the area but was taken into custody Saturday.
Bremer, an 8th-grade student, played soccer at Quioccasin, according to Principal Melanie Phipps.
“She was a straight student, a phenomenal athlete,” Phipps stated. “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.”
Bremer also assisted with the family’s business in Bumpass called Liberty Tree Farm.
“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,” the family’s statement read.
Shortly after the news of Bremer’s death, 6th-grade science teacher Anne Hampton and her colleagues set up a memorial on the fence surrounding the school's athletic field.
Teachers, students, and staff were encouraged to wear Bremer’s favorite colors: white, gray, and green. Those colors fill the memorial along with ribbons, flowers, and mementos.
A team of counselors at the school Monday talked to those who needed support.
Bremer loved to play soccer and she excelled on the field, according to her assistance soccer coach and history teacher Phil Markowski.
“She wasn’t gifted with speed, but she was a natural. Her mind was in the game, she knew where to be, and when to be there,” he told reporters in front of the memorial. “There’s not a single negative thing on Earth that I can think about this young lady.”
Markowski said they will play six games in the Spring in honor of Bremer. The school is also building and naming a garden after the 8th grader.
Principal Phipps held back tears as she recalled memories of Bremer in the classroom.
“She went out of her way to make others feel important,” she recalled. “It has been a very unusual and somber day to say the very least.”
14-year-old suspect denied bond
The 14-year-old boy charged with second-degree murder was denied bond when he appeared via video for his arraignment hearing Monday morning at Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor because of the suspect's age, her office has chosen to withhold his name.
However, given the seriousness of the crime, Taylor could still choose to try the 14-year-old as an adult.
Typically under Virginia law, Commonwealth's Attorneys have a time period of 21 to 31 days to decide whether or not to try a juvenile as an adult, but Taylor said the judge, in this case, agreed to waive that time period.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions in this tragic case. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is working to find out if Bremer and the suspect knew each other and what could have led to the shooting.
In the meantime, Taylor believes they have the right person in custody.
She wanted the Gayton Forest West subdivision to know they should not feel unsafe in their neighborhood.
“There are a lot of people hurting, and certainly the facts of this case are absolutely horrific," Taylor explained. "But I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge the fact we’re talking about a 14-year-old juvenile defendant as well. That young man’s family we have to understand what they might be thinking as well, but right now, we are obviously thinking about the Bremer family. We’re thinking about all of Lucia’s friends and the sorrow they’re dealing with right now."
Bremer’s parents did not appear in court this morning, but Taylor said they’ve been in constant contact with them.
She told CBS 6 the suspect did have a guardian inside the courtroom for him, as required.
A status hearing has been set for May 4 at 2:30 p.m.