PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – An 18-year-old man has been charged with three courts of first degree murder in Pittsylvania County after the deaths of two women and a child.
Police first received a 911 call at 8 a.m. reporting that a person had been shot at 1949 Keeling Drive in Pittsylvania County. When officers arrived on scene, they found a woman dead in the driveway of the home. After entering the residence, police discovered the bodies of a second woman and a child. The victims have not been named pending notification of next of kin.
Pittsylvania County authorities issued an alert as they searched for 18-year-old Mathew Bernard around 10 a.m. Tuesday, warning that he was considered armed very dangerous. This prompted the lock down of several schools in the area.
By 12:18 p.m., Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor said a suspect had been taken into custody though he never named Bernard as the suspect during a press conference. He was charged late Tuesday with three counts of first degree murder. Bernard was taken into custody less than a mile from the scene of the crime.
Photos captured by the Chatham Star-Tribune show Bernard naked and unarmed when he was captured after attacking a groundskeeper at Keeley Baptist Church.
A motive is not yet known for the murders.
“We won’t go into the whys because we don’t know yet,” Taylor told reporters. “We are trying to figure that out ourselves.”
He said officers were on the scene about 10 to 12 minutes after the first call to 911. More than 100 officers responded to the scene from numerous agencies.