EVERETT — Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie announced today the indictment of Henry “J.R.” Del-Rio, 27, of Chelsea, for the 2015 shooting death of 21-year-old Ashlee Berryman outside the Braza Grille nightclub.
A Middlesex Grand Jury has charged Del-Rio with First Degree Murder, Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon-Firearm, Attempt to Commit Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon-Firearm, Possession of a Firearm during the commission of a Felony, and Carrying a Firearm, Subsequent Offense.
Berryman was fatally struck by a bullet in the back during a hail of gunfire initiated by Del-Rio in a crowded parking lot early on Aug. 13, 2015, after a confrontation between two men and an associate of Del-Rio.
The defendant allegedly fired nine shots from a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, hitting one of the men as well as Berryman, who was attending a concert to support her boyfriend.
“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,” stated District Attorney Ryan, emphasizing the impact of the tragedy on Berryman’s family and the community.
Evidence from the scene, including cartridge casings and projectiles analyzed by the State Police Firearms Identification Section, linked the shots to the same weapon.
Despite initial reluctance from witnesses, investigators gathered enough information to charge Del-Rio, who allegedly admitted to the shooting to associates who then agreed to conceal the crime.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney David Solet, with victim witness advocate Anne Foley supporting Berryman’s family.
The investigation involved the Massachusetts State Police, Everett Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from Chelsea Police.
Del-Rio is currently held on a separate federal case and will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date.
District Attorney Ryan has also filed legislation to address reckless firearm discharge, seeking to close gaps in the law and enhance penalties for shootings that pose substantial risk to bystanders.