18-year-old triple murder suspect arrested naked while trying to flee from police

Posted at 7:25 AM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 08:25:38-04

A teenage suspect in a triple murder in Virginia was taken into custody after fleeing from authorities while naked.

Matthew Bernard, 18, of Keeling, Virginia, was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office. He is believed to have shot and killed three relatives at a home in Keeling, an unincorporated area near Virginia's southern border with North Carolina.

While responding to a 911 call about someone being shot on Tuesday morning, deputies found the body of one of the victims, a woman, in the driveway of the residence, while the two other victims -- a child and a second woman -- were found dead inside the home, the sheriff's office said.

The bodies were taken to the Roanoke office of Virginia's medical examiner for autopsies to determine the cause and manner of death. The victims' names will be released once family members have been notified, according to the sheriff's office.

Danville Community College in Danville, Virginia, was under lock-down Tuesday as a "precautionary" measure after Bernard, who was a student there, was identified as the suspect at-large in the slayings, according to the Danville Police Department. He was said to be armed and dangerous.

ABC affiliate WSET of Lynchburg, Virginia, was in a media staging area at the scene in Keeling that afternoon when suddenly Bernard, who wasn't wearing any clothes, ran out from a nearby wooded area and attacked a church groundskeeper then took off again. Authorities chased Bernard down the street and were able to apprehend the teen, who was taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to WSET.

The investigation is ongoing, and Bernard's first court appearance has not yet been scheduled, according to the sheriff's office.