Virginia Shooting Suspect Surrenders

The lone gunman who shot and killed eight people in a rural area in the U.S. state of Virginia a day earlier has surrendered to the police, said state authorities on Wednesday.

The suspect surrendered after an all-night stand-off with police, who had surrounded him in a woodland area just outside Appomattox, some 100 miles south west of the state capital Richmond, on Tuesday evening.

Police identified the suspect as Christopher Speight, a local resident personally acquainted with all the victims. While bodies of seven victims were found in a house, an eighth victim was found dying on a road. All the eight victims were reportedly either adult males or females.

The motive for the shooting is not yet clear. Though police officials did not specify when and where the suspect surrendered, local reports indicated that Speight turned himself in Wednesday morning after approaching the police officers at the site of shooting.

The incident unfolded noon local time on Tuesday, when a police officer found a dying man along a rural stretch of road. The officer heard the shootings and immediately called for back-up.

Police officials who arrived at the scene after receiving the back-up call asked the local residents to remain indoors and not to come out until the situation was brought under control.

Shortly after the police responded to the incident and launched a manhunt for the shooter, a state police helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing with a ruptured fuel tank after the suspect opened fire on it. No police officers were reportedly injured in the incident.

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