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Eight killed in Virginia shooting

Eight people have been shot dead after a gunman went on the rampage in Virginia, USA. The suspect was believed to be surrounded on Wednesday.


AFP - A gunman went on the rampage in the US state of Virginia, killing eight people and shooting a police helicopter taking part in a hunt for him, officials said.

A 39-year-old man was believed to be surrounded early Wednesday after the shootings in a rural district near Appomattox in southern Virginia. Police confirmed that there were eight dead.

The suspect, named as Christopher Speight, shot a helicopter that was called to the scene at least four times, forcing it to make an emergency landing, officials said.

"More than 100 deputies, officers and state troopers will continue working through the night to locate and apprehend the armed subject" Virginia State Police said in a statement.

The incident unfolded around noon on Tuesday when a deputy from the Appomattox sheriff's office responded to an emergency call about an injured man lying on a country road.

"When the deputy arrived on scene, the deputy heard several gun shots," Sergeant Thomas Molnar, a spokesman for the Virginia State Police told AFP.

As the victim was being airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he later died, officers found four bodies outside a nearby home and "three bodies inside the residence."

The victims were male and female, according to police.

The shootings were said to be the act of a lone gunman, who was pinned down by police in nearby woods late Tuesday, officials said.

A nearby residence was evacuated as the manhunt grew ever tenser.

"The perimeter has been established and we believe the suspect is within the quarantined area," Molnar said.

A motive for the attacks was not immediately clear.

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