Eight killed in Virginia shooting, suspect surrenders

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Map of Virginia highlighting Appomattox County.

Four adults, three teens and a child—both men and women—were murdered on Tuesday morning in a mass shooting in Appomattox, Virginia. According to police sources, three of the bodies were found inside a home, and the other four directly outside it.

Later in the day, civilians came upon an eighth victim in serious condition on the side of a road—which led to police being called. However, the man died en route to the hospital. Soon after, authorities identified the alleged shooter as Christopher Speight, aged 39, whom state and local police working in conjunction with the National Guard had surrounded in nearby woods.

The rural area was under an almost complete lock down as a perimeter was established that included hundreds of law enforcement officers and soldiers patrolling the area for the suspect. While being pursued, Speight is said to have fired multiple high-powered rounds at a state helicopter. Although there were no reported injuries, the bullets did rupture the fuel tank forcing it to land.

After an entire night of playing cat and mouse games with police, Christopher Speight surrendered to police of his own volition early Wednesday morning unarmed but wearing a bulletproof vest. Following this, police searched his Appomattox residence where they discovered several explosive devices on the premises.

In a statement to the media, Tom Molinar of Virginia State Police said that bomb technicians and canine units were on the scene. He went on to say that the situation was now under complete control, and that the proper authorities were safely detonating said devices as he spoke.

Christopher Speight is currently being housed in a local jail until charges are officially filed. The Appomattox Sheriff said that although motives for Speight's action are for now unknown, it is believed that he acted alone.


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