Virginia police officers made national news recently when troopers and deputies encountered a wild scene, a naked suspect running around, evading officers in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. However, it turned out to be no laughing matter. Police wanted the naked suspect, 18-year-old Matthew Bernard, for a triple homicide.
Footage shows a wild scene play out, where at times its unclear who is chasing who. Bernard, naked and running around wildly, both runs from of a trooper, then at times turns on him. Meanwhile, the trooper, clearly carrying some version of an AR or military M16, purposely holds back on engaging the suspect. You can see the officer mace the suspect at one point, however, he chooses not to physically engage and fight the suspect to the ground. Later Bernard runs away from the officer and attacks a random bystander in a church parking lot. In the end, a K9 took down the suspect, who police took into custody, reported nbcnews.com.
Virginia Police Capture Matthew Bernard
The incident began when officers responded to a 9-1-1 call that someone had been shot. Responding officers found a woman lying dead in the driveway of a home. Inside, officers found two more victims, leading the officers to call for more help. That lead to more than 100 officers from several agencies getting involved in the search for the suspect, according to nbcnews.com.
The victims turned out to be the suspect’s mother, sister and nephew. They also turned out to be wife, child and mother-in-law of minor league baseball player Blake Bivens, a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. The victims were identified as Joan Bernard, 62, Emily Bernard Bivens, 25, and Cullen Bivens, 14 months old. The suspect is the son of the slain Joan Bernard; Emily Bernard Bivens was his sister, reported nbcnews.com.
“In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined it,” said Bryant Bernard, the suspect’s uncle, reported nbcnews.com. “Not him. Of all the people in this world. I never could have imagined it.”
“I can’t speak for him,” said Pittsylvania County Sheriff Michael W. Taylor, reported nbcnews.com. “I do know his family. I think that he has questions, just like we all do at this point – questions that we couldn’t answer last night. And hopefully as we get through this investigation we will be able to bring those, or to answer those questions.”
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The suspect in a triple homicide in Pittsylvania County, 19-year-old Matthew Bernard, ran toward @KyleMWilcoxTV & @humphreyWSET while they were at a staging area — he also strangled the church's caretaker.https://t.co/4OVjvg9kkQ pic.twitter.com/cg23z2KIEX
— ABC 13 News – WSET (@ABC13News) August 27, 2019