Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Shooter Kills 8 in Virginia, Cops Corner Suspect
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 / Associated Press

APPOMATTOX, Va. — Schools were shutdown in a rural Virginia county as police searched for a gunman Wednesday who they believe killed eight people at a nearby home and forced down a police helicopter after shooting its fuel tank.

State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said investigators used dogs and heat-sensing equipment to search overnight for Christopher Speight, 39, in a wooded area in Appomattox County, about 100 miles southwest of Richmond. Authorities believe he is armed with a high-powered rifle.

Local officials agreed to close four schools that serve about 2,000 students as a precaution, said Sheriff O. Wilson Staples.

Police found three bodies inside a rural home Tuesday and four other victims lying outside. Another man found injured along a nearby roadway later died.

Geller said state, local and federal authorities rotated shifts to maintain a constant security presence in the area overnight, and expected "to put forth more aggressive efforts, both on the ground and in the air" during the day.

"Our focus is on locating this individual and apprehending him," she said during a morning news conference.

The drama began around noon Tuesday when a victim was spotted barely alive along the side of a narrow, undivided country road.

WHY SO MANY KILLERS? READ STORY...,2933,583389,00.html?sPage=fnc/us/crime

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