This article is subscriber-only content. To get access to this and the rest of The News & Observer, subscribe or sign in.

Thanks for reading! To enjoy this article and more, please subscribe or sign in.

Unlimited Digital Access

$1.99 for 1 month

Subscribe with Google

$1.99 for 1 month

Let Google manage your subscription and billing.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to the The News & Observer's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
No thanks, go back

Are you a subscriber and unable to read this article? You may need to upgrade. Click here to go to your account and learn more.


Naked triple-murder suspect runs from cops and attacks bystander, Virginia police say


A teen murder suspect in Virginia believed to have killed three members of his family was arrested after fleeing police while naked, reports say.

A neighbor called police Tuesday morning to report a shooting nearby, WSLS reported. When they arrived at the Pittsylvania County home, they found a woman’s body in the driveway. The bodies of a child and another woman were discovered inside, according to the news outlet.

Soon after, police began the search for suspect Matthew Bernard, 19, referring to him as “armed with a rifle and considered very dangerous,” police said in a tweet. Seven schools were on lockdown during the search, WDBJ reported.

The victims are believed to be Bernard’s mom, sister and niece, though officials have not confirmed their identities, WSLS reported.

Late Tuesday night, ESPN reported the victims as the wife, child and mother-in-law of Blake Bivens, 24, a minor league pitcher in the Tamp Bay Rays organization.

Early in the afternoon, news crews were standing outside in a media staging area when Bernard ran toward them naked, WSET reported.

Video footage shows a man who news outlets have identified as Bernard running toward an armed police officer, who keeps his distance. Bernard then chases the officer, who appears to use pepper spray, before running toward a man getting into a truck. Bernard grabs the man around the neck before he’s chased away by the officer. Bernard runs off, again, before officers are able to apprehend him.

Officials reported that Bernard is in police custody, but a motive isn’t clear.

“We won’t go into the whys because we don’t know yet. We are trying to figure that out ourselves,” county Sheriff Mike Taylor said, according to WFXR.

Bivens’ team, the Montgomery Biscuits, along with the Tampa Bay Rays released statements expressing their condolences on Twitter.

Bernard is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, WDBJ reported.

Local news has never been more important

Subscribe for unlimited digital access to the news that matters to your community.

Copyright Commenting Policy Report News Privacy Policy Terms of Use