Three teenagers and a 4-year-old were among the eight deaths in a Virginia shooting
Three teenagers and a 4-year-old were among the eight deaths in a Virginia shooting, state police said Wednesday.
Christopher Speight, 39, is being held without bond at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Lynchburg, Virginia, after being charged with a single count of first degree murder, police said, adding that further charges are pending.
Speight surrendered peacefully early Wednesday morning after an overnight manhunt left him hiding in the woods surrounded by a several-square-mile perimeter set up by authorities, Appomattox County Sheriff O. Wilson Staples said.
Speight was wearing a bulletproof vest but had no weapons when he surrendered, Staples said.
State police identified the victims of Tuesday’s shooting as Ronald I. Scruggs II, 16; Emily A. Quarles, 15; Karen Quarles, 43; Jonathan L. Quarles, 43; Dwayne S. Sipe, 38; Lauralee Sipe, 38; Joshua Sipe, 4; and Morgan L. Dobyns, 15. All were from Appomattox except Scruggs, who was from Dillwyn, about 25 miles away.
Police did not say how the victims were related nor did they describe a motive for the shootings. Earlier, they said that Speight lived at the Appomattox home where seven of the eight were found, that he co-owns it and adjoining land and that he was acquainted with all the victims.
Police were alerted to the incident Tuesday after noon when a person was discovered badly wounded in the middle of Route 703. That person later died at a hospital.
When police arrived at the scene they heard gunshots, authorities said. Authorities established a perimeter around the area, including dogs and helicopters. One of the helicopters was hit at least four times by bullets but “was able to make an emergency landing in a field near the scene,” state police said.
A search turned up the remaining seven bodies in and around the home, which is about 75 miles southwest of Richmond, Virginia’s capital.
On Wednesday, a search of the home turned up explosive devices, Molinar said. He said authorities were safely detonating the devices but he did not describe them.