Ashlee Berryman death: Suspected gang member charged with killing young mother in 2015 nightclub shooting

Ashlee Berryman death: Suspected gang member charged with killing young mother in 2015 Massachusetts nightclub shooting
Ashlee Berryman was gunned down outside a Massachusetts nightclub in 2015 (WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube)

EVERETT, MASSACHUSETTS: Charges have been filed against a man in connection with the death of a 21-year-old mother, Ashlee Berryman, who was fatally shot eight years ago in a crowded parking lot of a Massachusetts nightclub. 

The suspected shooter, believed to be a gang member, had allegedly boasted about the killing, with his associates attempting to conceal the crime by disposing of the murder weapon. 

Henry "JR" Del-Rio, 27, faces several charges, including that of first-degree murder, assault and battery, and weapons offenses, as per Law&Crime


What led to Ashlee Berryman's death?

During the early hours of August 13, 2015, a group of concert attendees gathered in the parking lot outside Braza Bar & Grill in Everett, located north of Boston. 

Ashlee, a mother of a three-year-old, was in attendance to support her boyfriend, a performer, handing out CDs at the time of the shooting. 

Among the individuals present in that parking lot was Del-Rio, accompanied by associates purportedly affiliated with Chelsea's East Side Money gang, as per prosecutors.

Around 12.50 am, two men who hadn't been part of the concert arrived, engaging in an argument with one of his associates. Following the confrontation, the accused allegedly brandished a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, firing nine shots at the men, relentlessly shooting as they fled.

One of the men was struck in the feet and ankles, while a bullet hit Ashlee in the back, causing fatal injuries. Bullets reportedly also pierced a wooden municipal sign, shattered the front window of a Rite-Aid across the street, and penetrated the roof of a passing car.

An Everett police officer, who was in the vicinity at the time, responded to gunshots heard at 12.56 am.

The 21-year-old mother later succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. 

Henry 'JR' Del-Rio openly admitted to firing the bullet that killed Ashlee Berryman

In the aftermath, the Del-Rio supposedly openly bragged about being responsible for the shot that claimed Ashlee's life. 

Investigators further uncovered that his associates had agreed to conceal the truth of the incident and discussed disposing of the murder weapon, which has yet to be found. 

Del-Rio has been in federal custody since December 2022 over a separate case related to firearms, details of which were expected to be disclosed at his arraignment. 

He is anticipated to be brought to Middlesex Superior Court for further proceedings. 

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan calls Henry 'JR' Del-Rio's actions 'predictively tragic'

According to Law&Crime, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said, "The conduct that Henry Del-Rio is alleged to have engaged in outside the Braza Grille was outrageous, and it ended in terrible tragedy," in a statement on Friday, January 12. 

She added, "Ashlee Berryman, a completely innocent victim, was caught in a hail of gunfire and lost her life. Those actions ripped her from her then 3-year-old son as well as her other family and friends. This violent, predictively tragic behavior we will not forget, and we will not cease looking to get to the results." 

"There’s nothing surprising about what took place here. What is surprising is that more people were not hurt, given the number of times that this gun was fired in a city that is extremely densely populated," further noted Ryan. 

The victim's sister, Alex Berryman expressed, "You just took away a 3-year-old’s mother, you don’t have a mother, and that’s why you’re such a monster. But if you did have a mother, or if you do have a mother, imagine growing up without her."

Share this article:  Ashlee Berryman death: Suspected gang member charged with killing young mother in 2015 nightclub shooting