An 18-year-old has been arrested for murdering the wife, son and mother-in-law of baseball player Blake Bivens before running through the neighbourhood naked.
Bivens’ brother-in-law, Matthew Bernard, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder following the attacks, which took place on Tuesday (August 27) in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
The suspect was caught less than a half-mile away from the Keeling Drive home where the victims were found.
According to a statement given to CNN, police were alerted to the incident at around 8am on Tuesday when a 911 call reported a person had been shot.
Deputies arrived at the scene and found a deceased woman in the driveway and the bodies of another woman and a child inside the home. The victims are Bivens’ wife Emily, his one-year-old son and Emily’s mum.
Bernard attempted to flee the scene and according to law enforcement officials, as per NBC, he ran through a neighbourhood naked and unarmed and into a church parking lot. A state trooper sprayed the suspect with mace but he continued running until he was stopped by police at a blockade.
According to ESPN, police said they did not know the motive for the killings.
Bivens is a double-A pitcher for minor league baseball team the Montgomery Biscuits, with the Tampa Bay Rays organisation. A statement was released on the Tampa Bay Ray’s official Twitter account in response to the tragic incident.
Earlier today we learned that 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. We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the Bivens family and the Biscuits family during this extremely difficult time.
The Minor League Baseball Twitter account also posted a statement, reading:
Our thoughts & prayers are with the family, friends and teammates of Blake Bivens in the wake of a terrible family tragedy, as well as the entire Rays organization, during this very difficult time.
Our thoughts & prayers are with the family, friends and teammates of Blake Bivens in the wake of a terrible family tragedy, as well as the entire Rays organization, during this very difficult time. pic.twitter.com/p4XlwvblfK
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) August 28, 2019
The Montgomery Biscuits cancelled a game they had scheduled for Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, due to what the team called a ‘tragic event’.
Bernard was taken into custody after being apprehended by police. A first court appearance has not been scheduled.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.