A man suspected of killing eight people before disappearing into dense Virginia woods surrendered at sunrise Wednesday, and bomb teams searched a house they said he may have rigged with explosives.
Christopher Bryan Speight, 39, was wearing a bulletproof vest but had no weapons when he turned himself in to police around 7:10 a.m., Sheriff O. Wilson Staples said. Authorities say at one point he fired at a state police helicopter, rupturing its gas tank and forcing it to land, but no one on board was hurt.
Staples said Wednesday that Speight co-owned a home where three bodies were found inside and four outside. The eighth victim, who was found barely alive on the road just outside the house, died at the hospital.
Authorities have not revealed a motive for the shooting or said how Speight was related to the victims. Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller would not say what Speight said when he turned himself in.
He was wearing camouflage pants and a black sweat shirt when officers put him in a sheriff's car at state police headquarters later Wednesday. He was being taken to Appomattox Regional Jail and had not been charged.
Police did not give details about where Speight was hiding in the perimeter set up by authorities, CBS News correspondent Whit Johnson reported on The Early Show. Police had said Speight was armed and dangerous.
Staples said bomb technicians and bomb-sniffing dogs were sent to the house because authorities believed explosive devices may have been planted in and around it.
The drama that started around noon Tuesday paralyzed the rural area about 100 miles southwest of Richmond that is best known as the place where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to end the Civil War. Police with dogs and heat-sensing equipment swarmed the woods and warned residents to stay indoors with doors locked.
"This is a horrific tragedy," Geller said at a news conference Wednesday. "It's definitely one of the worst mass killings in Virginia, probably since the Virginia Tech tragedy in April of 2007."
Appomattox County court records show a concealed weapons permit was issued to a Christopher Bryan Speight three times between 1999 and last year. The issue dates match the five-year renewal period for concealed handgun permits under Virginia law.
Authorities earlier said Speight had a high-powered rifle and Staples said investigators believe he had weapons training based on the weapons found in his home, though they have no information to indicate he was in the military.
Speight's uncle, Jack Giglio of Tampa, Fla., said his nephew was a deer hunter, though as far as he knew Speight did not have any specialized weapons training.
"We're shocked, of course," Giglio said. "I'm not aware of any problems with him. It's kind of out of the blue. We're still trying to pick up facts too."
Giglio said he hadn't seen Speight since 2006, when they both attended the funeral for Speight's mother, who died of brain cancer.
State police backed by other agencies spent Wednesday night enforcing a perimeter around a swath of woods that was 2 miles long and 1,000 yards wide.
The house where most of the bodies were found is located on a gravel road, with woods and farm fields surrounding it. On Wednesday morning, police had the road blocked about 100 yards from the house.
All the victims were adults.
The drama began around noon Tuesday when deputies responded to an emergency call about an injured man along the side of a narrow country road.
A deputy who answered the emergency call heard more gunshots and soon the area, about 3 miles from the state police district headquarters, was filled with law enforcement from all over, with more than 100 responding.