Police: Dog only survivor in murder-suicide that killed mother, son

A gruesome shooting in Richmond is now being ruled a murder-suicide.
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 2:44 PM CST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT/Gray News) - A mother and son were found dead at a home in Virginia in what police say was a murder-suicide. Police say a dog found shot in the home is the only survivor.

Officers were called to the Richmond home around 4 p.m. Saturday for a report of a person down.

On Monday after an investigation, police determined 49-year-old Lee Blair shot and killed his 68-year-old mother Kathy Brashier.

Police said Blair died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Brashier’s neighbor Jimmy Crigger said the woman next door to him was very kind.

“I can’t believe it even happened, everybody is shocked. They can’t believe it,” he said. “It’s mind-blowing.”

The neighbor described Brashier’s son as quiet and subdued.

“He and his mom would get to arguing so bad sometimes that she would leave,” Crigger said. “It would scare her … he would flip out on her and everything.”

Other neighbors told WWBT that they heard gunshots Friday.

Police did not discover the bodies until Saturday afternoon around 3:30 p.m.

Authorities also said they found a dog, named Luca, in the home wounded from an apparent gunshot. He was taken to a clinic for treatment.

In a social media post, the Richmond Animal Care and Control said it’s a “miracle” the dog survived after bullet fragments were found in his head and neck.

“Their homicide detectives were messaging us and were like, ‘Oh my gosh, it was really sad and gruesome, and their hope upon hope is that this dog can live’ and that they were so surprised to find him still alive,” RACC Director Christie Chipps-Peters said.

According to RACC, Luca was left in the house, unable to move for up to 20 hours until officers found him.

“The time that had lapsed, he lost a lot of blood, and we’re just so grateful that it hit right where it hit and that he was able to survive that long until he was found,” Chipps-Peters said.

RACC said Luca is still in recovery as doctors assess his injuries.

On Monday, the shelter posted a video on Facebook of Luca walking using all four legs, saying he’s now “much brighter and is wagging his tail when anyone approaches his kennel.”

WWBT reports that next of kin are unable to take him in at this time. Once he heals, he will be put up for adoption.

“His prognosis is guarded at best, but we can’t give up until we’ve tried everything we can to help him,” RACC said.

Anyone with information about these shootings is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.