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Explosives Found at Home of Virginia Gunman

Explosives Found at Home of Virginia Gunman

Police get ready to head out into the woods of during a man hunt. (AP Photo)

The AP via YellowBrix

January 21, 2010

Mays, the county’s retired commissioner of accounts, said that Speight was a good neighbor. They waved as they passed each other on the road and sent their dogs out to play with one another.

“All the dealings I’ve ever had with him have been cordial and polite,” Mays said. “We got along fine.”

Speight had long been a gun enthusiast and enjoyed target-shooting at a range on his property, Mays said. But the shooting recently became a daily occurrence, with Speight firing what Mays said were high-powered rifles.

“Then we noticed he was doing it at nighttime,” and the gunfire started going deeper into the woods, Mays said.

Related: Photo Gallery of Manhunt for Virginia Killer

Mays said the community was devastated and wondering what triggered the slayings.

“The only one who’s going to know now is Chris,” he said.

David Anderson, co-owner of the Sunshine Market grocery store in Lynchburg, where Speight sometimes provided security, said that Speight was worried that his sister and brother-in-law wanted to kick him out of the house. They had recently moved in with Speight, he said.

Speight “constantly paced the floor,” Anderson said. “I thought he was going to wear a trench in it.”

Clarence Reynolds, who also works at the market, said that he recently discussed a personal family problem with Speight, who told him, “Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.”

Reynolds said that Speight was not married and had no children.

Police were alerted to the blood bath when they found the wounded man, who died on the way to the hospital. Sheriff’s deputies discovered seven more bodies — three inside the house and four just outside.

Appomattox is known mainly for its history: This community about 90 miles southwest of Richmond is where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to end the Civil War.

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