APPOMATTOX, Virginia – The security guard accused of unleashing a bloodbath that killed eight people and planting bombs on his shared, quiet Virginia homestead had complained to a friend that he feared being turned out of the house by his sister and brother-in-law.
The couple was among the dead identified late Wednesday by police, shortly after they charged 39-year-old Christopher Bryan Speight with first-degree murder. The other victims of Tuesday morning's rampage were two adults, three teenagers and a 4-year-old boy.
Authorities have refused to offer a motive for the slayings, but Speight told a friend and former employer he was worried about being kicked out of the house.
Speight never wanted to talk about it, but he "constantly paced the floor," said David Anderson, co-owner of the Sunshine Market grocery store in Lynchburg where Speight sometimes worked. "I thought he was going to wear a trench in it."
The house was where police found most of the bodies. Speight gave himself up to police early Wednesday after leading investigators on an 18-hour manhunt. A bomb squad discovered a multitude of explosives the home, and crews were detonating the devices into the night.
Speight's mother deeded the house to Speight and his sister in 2006, shortly before she died of brain cancer. His mother's obituary listed the daughter as Lauralee Sipe and her husband as Dewayne Sipe.
State police identified the Sipes, both 38, as two of the victims, along with 16-year-old Ronald Scruggs; 15-year-old Emily Quarles; 43-year-old Karen and Jonathan Quarles; 15-year-old Morgan Dobyns; and 4-year-old Joshua Sipe.
Police say Speight knew all the victims, but they did not outline the victims' relationships.
The first sign of trouble was a mortally wounded man on the side of an unpaved road bounded by forests and farmland. Then sheriff's deputies discovered seven more bodies — three in the house and four just outside.
Police converged as chaos ensued in this rural patch of central Virginia. Speight fired a high-powered rifle at least four times at a state police helicopter trying to flush him out of the woods, rupturing its gas tank and forcing it to land.
The shots revealed his location, and more than 100 police officers penned him, launching the manhunt. It ended only when Speight emerged at sunrise Wednesday, wearing a bulletproof vest over a black fleece jacket, camouflage pants and mud-caked boots.
Speight had no weapons when he surrendered. He's being held on one count of first-degree murder, but other charges are likely. No court date has been set.
After Speight's surrender, Bomb squads discovered what police called "a multitude" of explosive devices planted in the house and outdoors. They began methodically detonating them, blowing up seven until rain forced them to stop. The detonations were expected to resume Thursday.