(KEELING, Va.) — A teenage suspect in a triple murder in Virginia was taken into custody after fleeing from authorities while naked.
Matthew Bernard, 18, of Keeling, Va., was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.
He is believed to have shot and killed three relatives at a home in Keeling, an unincorporated area near Virginia’s southern border with North Carolina.
While responding to a 911 call about someone being shot on Tuesday morning, deputies found the body of one of the victims, a woman, in the driveway of the home, while the two other victims — a child and a second woman — were found dead inside the house, the sheriff’s office said.
“This was a shock to our community,” Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s just a reminder of how fragile life is.”
Danville Community College in Danville, Va., was under lockdown Tuesday as a “precautionary” measure after Bernard, who was a student there, was identified as the suspect at-large in the slayings, according to the Danville Police Department. He was said to be armed and dangerous.
Pittsylvania County Public Schools also went on modified lockdown. Superintendent Mark Jones told ABC News all outside doors were locked and monitored, all classroom doors were locked and no students were allowed in hallways without a chaperone.
ABC affiliate WSET of Lynchburg, Va., was in a media staging area at the scene in Keeling Tuesday afternoon when suddenly Bernard, who wasn’t wearing any clothes, ran out from a nearby wooded area and attacked a church groundskeeper then took off again.
“I saw a male, tall skinny male, with no clothes on running around,” a woman told local reporters. “He took off running.”
Authorities chased Bernard down the street and were able to apprehend the teen, who was taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to WSET.
The victims’ names have not been released, but according to ESPN, two of the three victims were the wife and child of Blake Bivens, a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
The Tampa Bay Rays said in a statement: “Blake Bivens, a pitcher with our Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits, suffered a terrible family tragedy in southern Virginia. Our hearts are broken for Blake. We are grieving with him and will support him any way we can.”
The Biscuits CEO and Managing Owner Lou DiBella said in a statement, “The Biscuits thoughts and prayers are with Blake and all those who have been impacted by this tragedy.”
The victims’ bodies were taken to the Roanoke office of Virginia’s medical examiner for autopsies to determine the cause and manner of death.
Bernard’s first court appearance has not yet been scheduled, according to the sheriff’s office.
Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.