PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Virginia — A teenager wanted in connection for the murders of his mother, his sister, and his nephew went on a naked rampage before police were able to take him into custody.
Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder, WSLS reported.
The victims are the wife, child, and mother-in-law of Blake Bivens, a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays’ Minor League team, the Montgomery Biscuits.
Just an awful tragedy: The wife and child of Blake Bivens, a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, were among three people killed in rural Virginia on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN. Police have charged Bivens' wife's brother with first-degree homicide.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 28, 2019
The team cancelled Tuesday’s doubleheader.
“Due to a tragic event with the Biscuits family, tonight’s doubleheader against the Chattanooga Lookouts has been cancelled,” the team tweeted. “The biscuits ask for privacy at this time and will provide an update when it’s appropriate.”
Tonight's doubleheader has been cancelled. pic.twitter.com/QjhbQ0unPP
— Montgomery Biscuits (@BiscuitBaseball) August 27, 2019
According to WSET, a neighbor found one person dead in the driveway of a Pittsylvania County, Virginia home. They found another adult and the child dead inside the home.
A dog was also killed, WSLS reported.
According to a Facebook post by the Central Boulevard Church of God, the Bernard and Bivens families attended church together.
“The Bernard and Bivens families are very precious to us and we at Central Boulevard desire your prayers for these dear people, as they are a beloved part of our church family,” the post said. “The circumstances of the day are not ordinary, but we serve an extraordinary God.”
Bernard’s uncle told WSLS that he was surprised by what happened.
“In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined it. Not him. Of all the people in this world. I never could have imagined it,” Bryant Bernard said.
“This boy’s a Christian. Went to church every Sunday, every Wednesday, every Sunday night. Taught youth groups. Just an all-around perfect kid, in my opinion,” Bryant Bernard said.
The Danville Community College, where Bernard was a student, was placed on lockdown Tuesday.
That’s when a WSET camera caught Bernard running naked past the media staging area and attacking a church groundskeeper. A police officer attempted to use mace and a nightstick to get Bernard into custody.
Police caught Bernard just after noon Tuesday when he ran from a wooded area. He was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.